Pogba challenged by Mourinho after Man Utd derby heroics

Jose Mourinho has challenged Paul Pogba to find a level of consistency which allows him to repeat his derby heroics for Manchester United on a more regular basis.

Having faced plenty of criticism heading into a crunch clash with Premier League champions-elect Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, the French midfielder picked the best possible fixture in which to rediscover his spark.

After seeing United fall behind to leave themselves in danger of being unwelcome guests at a raucous title party, Pogba produced a two-goal showing to turn the tie on its head and inspire a stunning 3-2 victory.

Mourinho is not looking for his £89 million record signing to have that kind of impact every time he takes to the field, but he is calling on the 25-year-old to remove the wild fluctuations in form from his game.

The United manager told reporters ahead of a Premier League outing against West Brom: “I’ll tell you what I told him after the match – I don’t expect you to be man of the match every week, I don’t expect you to score two goals every week. But I expect you to be consistent.

“So, if you ask me if I’m expecting Paul now to be man of the match every week? No. If I expect him to score goals every match? No.

“But I expect Paul – and I think that’s the challenge he has to put to himself – to keep a certain stability and not to have the good match and the so-so match and the bad match.

“I think he has to try to keep that level of stability, and from that stability of course will appear the special match with the special performance like it happened against City.”

More “special” showings from Pogba before the end of the season should help to bring an end to the distracting transfer talk which continues to follow him around – with Pep Guardiola having revealed that the France international was offered to City in January.

Jose Mourinho Paul Pogba consistency

Whatever happens when the window swings open again this summer, it is expected that United will spend big in an effort to close the gap on their noisy neighbours who have dominated the domestic scene in 2017-18.

Mourinho is, however, adamant that they will not live beyond their means and act in a reactionary manner to the dealings of rival outfits who may be prepared to try and buy their way to success.

He added: “No. We are not going to spend more than we can. We are not going to do anything crazy.

“We are just trying to improve a little bit more, to give sequence to it. That’s what we are going to try.”