Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho hit back at “Einsteins” after Paul Pogba scored twice in a 4-1 win over Fenerbahce on Thursday, saying that the critics would rapidly change their opinions.
Midfielder Pogba scored from a penalty then added another long-range strike to secure a comfortable victory for Mourinho’s men in the Europa League clash at Old Trafford.
The Frenchman had scored once in eight appearances for United since his world record £89.3 million summer move, before his double against the Turkish club.
Speaking in his postmatch news conference, Mourinho said: “In some of your mouths, he goes from the worst player in the Premier League to the best player in 48 hours, especially the Einsteins.
“Really, we know he is a very good player. We know he needs his time to show his potential. He needs time to adapt.
“He is a confident boy — he is not depressed because some people say he is a bad player — and he is just calm, so I don’t think today will make a big difference.
“But it’s always nice for a player to score goals at home, especially a beautiful goal.”
Mourinho had said in the prematch news conference on Wednesday that Henrikh Mkhiratyan had been training “without limitation,” but the Armenian forward was left out again against Fenerbahce.
The United manager explained: “We played with Lingard, Mata and Martial. I’m not an Einstein — I don’t know a system to play four wingers at the same time. He has to work more to get the intensity and real fitness to play at a high level.”
United started with Wayne Rooney as a striker and he gave an encouraging display, ahead of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Michael Carrick was also impressive in a holding role alongside Pogba.
When asked if the performances would influence his thinking, looking ahead, Mourinho replied: “They are independent matches. I chose this team because I felt it was the team to win it.
“After such an intense game on Monday, I thought that some of the players would be in better condition to perform than others. I start thinking about Chelsea tomorrow.”