Jose Mourinho explains reason behind Paul Pogba's substitution
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has played down the talk of an injury to Paul Pogba after he was substituted midway through the second half of the club's 1-0 defeat at Newcastle United.
The France international was seen limping on the ground after picking up a minor knock during the warm-ups, but Mourinho still decided to go with the midfielder for the Magpies clash.
Barring a couple of neat exchanges at the start, Pogba struggled to win the midfield battle with Jonjo Shelvey, and he pretty much left Nemanja Matic with the overwhelming task of intercepting every bit of play.
Pogba was substituted just seconds after United conceded a goal in the 65th minute, and when asked about a potential injury concern, Mourinho dismissed the thought by suggesting that it was a tactical decision.
"No no problems," he told Sky Sports News. "I wanted a better way to come out in the first phase against a team that was defending in a very compact block."
With the Magpies defeat, United are 16 points behind leaders Manchester City with just 11 matches remaining, and this presumably ends any thought of challenging for the English crown this term.
United have also been caught up by the likes of Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur in this period, and they need to be wary of potentially dropping into fifth with tricky games versus Chelsea and Liverpool in the next 30 days.