(Reuters) - Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba will miss Sunday’s derby against Manchester City but he has backed his team mates to end their local rivals’ unbeaten run in the Premier League this season.
Leaders City will equal the all-time English top-flight record of 14 consecutive victories with a win at Old Trafford and extend their lead over second-placed United to 11 points.
Pogba, who is serving a three-match domestic ban after receiving a red card in the win over Arsenal, said United must be ruthless in front of goal if they are to record their first win in three league games over City.
“I have complete trust in the team. Even if I’m not there, I’ll be there watching the game, giving positive energy and, hopefully, we’re going to win,” the 24-year-old told reporters.
“You need to kill the game when you have one chance because they are City and they have quality as well up front and they can kill the game at any time.
“They’re first for good reason, because they’ve been doing great at the start of the season. They keep winning, they didn’t lose one game and obviously, mentally, they’re very strong. We need to be as good as they are, mentally.”
Pogba played 90 minutes in United’s 2-1 Champions League victory over CSKA Moscow on Tuesday, providing an assist to Romelu Lukaku who netted only his second goal in last 13 games in all competitions.
“For a striker to score a goal it gives him positive energy as well (as confidence). He (Lukaku) need this,” Pogba added.
“He deserved it because he’s been working very hard for the team and obviously we know how important he is for us. We are going to need him as well for the derby.”
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond