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  • Mourinho was addressing the media ahead of his side's visit to Huddersfield Town for their FA Cup fifth round clash.
  • The United boss insists reports of a bust-up with Paul Pogba over his position and role in the team are "big lies".
  • Mourinho says Pogba has accepted "he hasn't played well".
  • "In the last couple of matches he didn't play well period, end of story, now it's my problem and Paul's to improve his performance level, you don't need to be a liar."
  • The France international will play against Huddersfield.
Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho

Strong stuff from Jose on the speculation about Paul Pogba this week, labelling it all "big lies." The Manchester United boss insists there have been no issues with the France midfielder, hitting out at sections of the press and the pundits to have targeted Pogba recently.

Mourinho's last comment confirms Pogba will play tomorrow against Huddersfield Town.

More on Pogba's form and his critics

"He had a big injury, he almost had surgery like Dembele in Barcelona, the decision was not to do it, which had good results, everyone was happy with how it went. He was playing phenomenal before and after that. He had a red card against Arsenal in probably his and the team's best moment.

"In this moment he is not playing well. Period. And the team needs him at a good level, when he is not at a good level, the team is not as good. It happens to every team when the most crucial players are not performing. You do not need to come with he wants to leave or we want to sell. You don't need that. Someone want to go in that direction, there sir name is liar. There are people in your world [the press] whose sir name is liar. If you want to know if he plays tomorrow, yes, he plays tomorrow."

Mourinho on Pogba's critics and his position

"I would like somebody to tell me which position you think Pogba played against Newcastle. Can you tell me? [at reporters]. Midfield? We played with one number six and numbers eights, or two six and one 10, we play with one six and two eights, we play with Matic as a six, Lingard on the right side of Matic and Pogba on the left side

"Do you know which system Pogba prefers? 4-3-3? Do you know which position in 4--3-3? 8 on the left. So it is easy and honest and objective to say Pogba didn't play well against Newcastle but some one of the guys are paid millions, don't let people read things that are not true. You are paid to read and explain the game, not say b******t."

"I don't have to speak to you about it. It is a big lie we don't communicate or we don't agree with his positions or his involvement in the team. Be objective, say what we all know. the last couple of matches he didn't play well, end of story. Now we must improve his performance."

Mourinho on Pogba

"I speak on his behalf, he accepts he has not played well, that is all. If you want to speak about it that is one thing, then maybe speculation makes sense but the majority of things you read, don't be nice, are lies"

Mourinho on Huddersfield

"They have different ambitions. Huddersfield want to progress and make something beautiful in the cup. We have to be ready. We played them very recently, we know who they, how they try to play. We lost this season in their stadium so I do not think we can be caught by surprise."

And here is Jose...

This is excellent news as far as United's defensive problems are concerned.

Speaking to MUTV, Jose Mourinho has confirmed Eric Bailly is back in training after ankle surgery and is available for Saturday.

Ander Herrrera and Marcus Rashford remain sidelined however having missed the defeat to Newcastle United with muscular injuries.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic meanwhile is still recovering full fitness.


Remember United's last trip to the John Smith's Stadium? Victor Lindelof had an afternoon to forget with former Manchester City starlet Aaron Mooy the star of the show.

Talk of a formation change has been a popular topic as far as United are concerned this week. Could a shift to 4-3-3 beckon this weekend? We've put together our predicted XI for the trip to the John Smith's Stadium. Cue Jose dismissing any notion of this happening.

Manchester United X vs Huddersfield

Chris Smalling and Phil Jones have endured a disastrous couple of weeks – is Eric Bailly the answer to United's current defensive woes? The Ivory Coast international has not played since November having been forced to undergo ankle surgery but is edging closer to a return, with reports this week suggesting he could be in contention for Wednesday's Champions League tie against Sevilla.

Saturday's visit to the John Smith's Stadium is likely to come too soon for him, but Mourinho has options in Victor Lindelof and Marcos Rojo if he wants to shake up his partnership at the back.

Eric Bailly
Eric Bailly is close to returning after almost three months on the side lines with an ankle injury

As is par for the course, speculation over Paul Pogba's current frame of mind has emerged this week. L'Equipe in France report the midfielder has grown frustrated with his role at Old Trafford and even holds some regrets over his decision to return to Manchester.

A report from Duncan Castles meanwhile, a journalist with close ties to the Mourinho camp, also claims the Frenchman is eager for his manager to deploy him in a 4-3-3 formation, feeling his attacking contribution is limited when playing alongside Nemanja Matic in a midfield two.

Last Sunday at St James' Park, Pogba ended his warm-up early, sparking suggestions he had picked up a knock. When asked if he had picked up an injury by a journalist in the mixed zone after that match, he replied by wincing.

A report today in the Manchester Evening News now suggests Pogba was ill during the 1-0 defeat in the north east, something that would have clearly effected his performance.

So what is the truth? Hopefully Mourinho can shed a bit of light.

Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho
Pogba and Mourinho were involved in an exchange on the touchline against Tottenham. Getty

There is likely to be only one name dominating the agenda when Jose Mourinho speaks to the press this afternoon. Having been taken off in two of Manchester United's last three games following fairly insipid performances, Paul Pogba is under the spot light this week.

The France international cut a frustrated figure on the pitch during last Sunday's defeat to Newcastle United and an emotional one while sat on the bench after leaving the pitch. Following reports in the press this week suggesting there is now friction between Mourinho and the club's record signing, there is bound to be one or two questions on what's going on between the two.