LONDON, Dec 6 — Paul Pogba says he has “complete trust” in his Manchester United team-mates as they prepare to take on Premier League leaders Manchester City without the suspended French international.
The midfielder was sent off towards the end of his side’s pulsating 3-1 win against Arsenal at the Emirates on Saturday, ruling him out of this weekend’s potentially season-defining match at Old Trafford.
No team has ever enjoyed a better start to a top-flight season than Manchester City, who will look to take a double-digit lead by ending United’s club record-equalling 40-match unbeaten home run.
“I’m very disappointed because I really want to help the team and wanted to be there for this derby because obviously we are playing City and in this moment we need points and we need to win,” said Pogba, whose team, in second place, trail Pep Guardiola’s men by eight points.
“Unfortunately, I won’t play but I will be there to help the team mentally,” he added.
“We need to (attack City from the start). To win those games you need to give everything. “You need to be there offensively, defensively.
“Kill the game when you have one chance because they are City and they have quality as well in front and they can kill the game at any time.”
Pogba’s absence is a huge blow given his fine form this season, which continued as CSKA Moscow were overcome 2-1 on Tuesday to secure Jose Mourinho’s United top spot in their Champions League group.
But he said he had confidence in his team-mates.
“I have complete trust in the team,” the 24-year-old said. “Even if I am not there, I will be there watching the game, giving positive energy and hopefully we are going to win.”
Sunday is the first of three matches Pogba will miss after receiving a straight red card for his challenge on Hector Bellerin.
“Yeah, I didn’t really speak after the game — I didn’t have time — but I think Hector, I know him as well, and I would never give him a tackle like this,” he said.
“It looks very bad but the intention wasn’t like that. They had the decision, the referee got the red card and that’s football.” — AFP