A visibly disappointed Paul Pogba urged his fellow Manchester United players to wake up, after the Red Devils failed to win for the fourth time in as many matches and dropped to third place in the Premier League table with a 0-0 home draw against Southampton.
“Of course we wanted to win today,” Pogba told MUTV.
“We drew again. We didn’t lose today but we have to wake up, bounce back and get back to winning. The three draws we have to win, something has to change and we have to change to win.”
After initially keeping pace with Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, the Red Devils have faltered in recent months and could potentially be an mammoth 17 points behind the leaders if the Sky Blues win their game in hand against Crystal Palace on Sunday.
After Bristol City dumped United out of the EFL Cup in November, many expected Jose Mourinho’s men to bounce back, but they registered 2-2 draws consecutively, against Leicester and Burnley, to fall further off the pace and Saturdays’s goalless stalemate saw Chelsea leapfrog them into second place.
However, the fact that United travel to Everton within 48 hours of playing Southampton may be a blessing in disguise as Pogba feels there is no time to mope and they simply need to focus on the next game.
“We have to rest,” the French midfielder added. “It’s only one day and then we have to play against Everton – that’s football. Even if we were to play tomorrow, we’d want to win then as well, that’s not going to change. We forget about today, tomorrow’s another day and we have to go out there and win.”
Romelu Lukaku suffered a nasty head injury early on against the Saints and had to be replaced by Marcus Rashford, leaving United short of attacking options as Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been ruled out of action for a month as well.
And Pogba admitted the loss of the burly Belgian, who is the side’s top scorer this season, will be keenly felt.
“When we have Romelu, he makes it difficult for defenders and creates so much space as well,” Pogba conceded as he continued, “He’s a big miss for us but we have the team to fill the gap of Romelu”.
While the club are yet to make an official statement on Lukaku, Jose Mourinho suggested in a post-match interview with BT Sport that the striker will be unavailable for the next two games at least.