Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted getting the best out of Paul Pogba is one of his major challenges as Manchester United caretaker boss.
Pogba, United’s club record £89millon signing and a World Cup winner in the summer with France, started the last three Premier League games on the bench under former boss Jose Mourinho.
Mourinho mistrusted Pogba and clashed with his most high-profile player on numerous occasions, stripping him of the captaincy and berating him publicly as their relationship broke down.
Solskjaer worked with Pogba when he was in charge of United reserves and is convinced he can unlock his full potential and restore his confidence and form, something Mourinho helped destroy.
Pogba is set to be handed his first Premier League start since December 1 with Saturday’s trip to Cardiff, Solskajer’s debut in charge since taking over as temporary boss following Mourinho’s dismissal.
“He’s a World Cup winner,” said Solskjaer. “Paul is a terrific lad and when I had him as a kid he was always the happy-go-lucky lad.
“He hasn’t changed, personality-wise. He’s a better player, of course, and he’s one that I want to get the best out of. “You have so many quality players that I want to get the best out of. He’s no different to anyone else in that respect. “I’m not sure about saying the power has gone to the dressing-room. The power is with the manager.
“He picks the team, the tactics, the strategy. The philosophy is in these walls. “That legacy is more important than any player power. Being a Manchester United player is a privilege and I think all of them want to succeed here.”
Solskjaer’s first task is to restore the feel-good factor to a squad left broken by Mourinho’s aggressive and autocratic style of management and get players like Pogba playing with freedom and without fear.