- Title: United's Mourinho defends Paul Pogba saying "envy is everywhere"
- Date: 15th March 2017
- Summary: MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (MARCH 15, 2017) (REUTERS) (SOUNDBITE) (English) MAROUANE FELLAINI, ASKED ABOUT THE PITCH AT ROSTOV, SAYS: "I think it is true the pitch was difficult at Rostov. But is okay, we played there, we draw, I think it was a good result for us. Now it will be completely different. We play on Old Trafford good pitch, the supporters will be with us so we are confident." MAROUANE FELLAINI LEAVES
- Embargoed: 29th March 2017 16:40
- Keywords: Manchester United Jose Mourinho Europa League Rostov
- Location: MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Soccer,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA003682M05B
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:**CONTAINS PROFANE LANGUAGE** (USE OF THE WORD "ASS")
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has leapt to the defence of Paul Pogba after the under-fire midfielder came in for further criticism following a below-par performance in Monday's (March 13) FA Cup quarter-final defeat at Chelsea.
Pogba, who returned to United from Italian champions Juventus for a world record fee of 89 million pounds in August, has struggled to live up to his hefty price tag, scoring seven goals in 40 appearances this campaign.
"I feel that the world is losing values and I am scared about the level of envy coming in. It is not Paul's fault that he gets 10 times the money some players did in the past," Mourinho told reporters.
"It is not his fault that some pundits are in real trouble with their lives and need every coin to survive, while Paul is a multi-millionaire.
Despite Pogba's performances often dividing opinion among supporters and pundits, Mourinho said he was pleased with the Frenchman's performance in this campaign and was sure that the midfielder turned a deaf ear to all the criticism.
"I am very happy with Paul ... The best thing is that because of his personality he doesn't give an ass to what people say about him," Mourinho added.
United host the Russian side FC Rostov at Old Trafford on Thursday and will hope to book their place in the quarter-final of the Europa League following the 1-1 first-leg draw last week.
However, United will be without injured duo Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial for the clash.
In the opening leg, at Rostov-on-Don, United's manager Jose Mourinho complained about the condition of the pitch. On Wednesday FC Rostov was banned from hosting league games at the Olimp-2 Stadium due to poor pitch conditions.
UEFA, European soccer's governing body, had deemed the pitch playable for the first leg match, which United drew 1-1.
Manchester United's Marouane Fellaini agreed that the pitch at Rostov was in poor condition. "I think it is true that the pitch was difficult at Rostov," the Belgian said, but added the team had played and drawn so it was a good result.
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