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winning vibe Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explains why Paul Pogba will stay at Manchester United


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Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United points to Paul Pogba during the Premier League match between Manchester United  and  Leeds United at Old Trafford on August 14, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images,)

Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United points to Paul Pogba during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Leeds United at Old Trafford on August 14, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images,)

Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United points to Paul Pogba during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Leeds United at Old Trafford on August 14, 2021 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images,)

OLE Gunnar Solskjaer doesn't care that much if Bruno Fernandes scores another hat-trick in upcoming Manchester United games oOr if Paul Pogba comes up with four more assists as they did in Manchester United's opening day thrashing of Leeds United..

Not that he's blasé about how the two attacking stars took apart Marcelo Bielsa's side.

He enjoyed the show as much as either player or any Old Trafford fan, but what he really wants to see is a statement of intent against Southampton, that his team is now the collective unit that can finally win silverwear.

Solskjaer has confirmed that United will not take the money and run, with Pogba's future at the club hanging in the balance.

The French World Cup winner is now in the final season of his contract but - rather than take a cut-price offer from interested parties such as PSG or Pogba's former club Juventus - work will continue to convince him to re-commit to the Red Devils.

Yet he insists that this season is not all about Pogba.

Nor, indeed is it about Fernandes, even if he is the icon of the Stretford End.

He stresses that any success has to be about EVERY player standing up to the plate, saying : "Of course, I'm very happy with the squad, the signings we've made.

"As a footballer, when you look around and you see good footballers next to you that puts another layer of responsibility on yourself and your own performances. You have to play well to be in the team, you have to play well to be successful in this team.

"Sometimes, you've got to accept being on the bench because we need a strong squad, a big squad, to win trophies.

"So Paul, he's enjoying his football and I've said many times, my job is to make sure we're getting the best out of Paul and Bruno and all the individuals - all the very good players we've got - within a team structure.

"I knew the headlines were going to be about Paul and Bruno with four assists and three goals. But it's all the other boys as well and the balance in the team.

"For me, to make players stay at Man United, when you see a good squad and get good results, that helps and we want to win things.

"There was no better place to be when I was a player because we kept on winning.

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"I want to take this team to the next level, we want to start winning trophies, but that requires consistency. We played one game and people are talking about us winning the league.

"We've cut the deficit to the winning team last season by quite a few points but we still have to take another step or two into the next level. So yes, I expect Pogba to be here when September 1 comes.

"But this is a challenge for everyone - you play to a high standard every weekend when you're a Manchester United player.

"If you've got a five-year contract or a one-year contract, when you sign for Man United you have to rise to the challenge of performing on a consistent level. I'm not worried whatsoever, that the length of any player's contract is changing the level of their motivation and inspiration.

"You want to play well for your team, your teammates, yourself, your family, every time you play. We can't expect Bruno to score a hat-trick every time, of course we can't, we can't score five goals every game.

That's not how the world works. What I expect is that the attitude and the approach to every game is the right one.

"That we have the same focus, the right focus, the right professionalism and, with that, I have no worries about Paul whatsoever."

Solskjaer could give first starts to £120m arrivals Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane at St Mary's. Then again, he may well stick with a winning team.

The new pair could well have a massive positive impact on Solskjaer's ambitions but his squad has now developed into one in which there is no need to rush in.

That is a luxury for him, a challenge for Varane and Sancho, as well as one facing those who wore the shirt against Leeds.

The Norwegian stresses: "At this club you have to have that personality in you to relish and enjoy healthy competition for places.

"That should bring the best out of you.

"That little bit of... call it fear of losing that position but also play in the team with so many good players.

"I have always enjoyed players having someone to look over their shoulder and feeling 'yeah I have to perform to stay in the team'.

"And it is also a challenge for me to know when to rotate because I trust all my players and have the right combination of players for as many games as possible."

Yet Solskjaer is clearly excited about the impact of Varane following his arrival from Real Madrid. He said: "You look at quality, you look at personality.

"He has that quality and personality and also has the experience of winning.

"Bruno has not won a lot with Sporting but he has an immense winning mentality. Raphael has won almost everything and he brings that as well as his attitude and qualities.

"Harry Maguire might not have won a lot when we signed him but he has the character and traits of a Man United player.

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