Paul Pogba inspired Man United’s sensational fightback against Newcastle after Jose Mourinho consulted him on tactics.
The Old Trafford boss listened to his players in Saturday’s half-time powwow with most of the team voicing their opinions over what was going wrong.
United were trailing 2-0 to struggling Toon and Mourinho asked Pogba what he thought should happen to change things.
The French midfielder suggested a deeper role for himself and bringing on Marouane Fellaini. And that is exactly what Mourinho did.
Scott McTominay was replaced, having been pushed into the back four at the expense of Eric Bailly after 19 minutes. While midfield holding star Nemanja Matic was then pushed into the centre of defence and Pogba took on a lone role in front of the back four with Fellaini ahead of him in the centre.
Pogba, 25, then began to dictate the play in his best half of the season so far as United hit back to grab a last-gasp winner through Alexis Sanchez.
Mourinho said: “During half-time we opened our hearts and we spoke about tactical changes for two minutes.
“Then we spoke for eight minutes about other things that I thought would let the players be a little bit more free to face the second half and it became 3-2. Amazing.”
While the United dressing room has been flat of late, elated staff and players were all united as one after the game. Now the hope is the victory will prove a turning point in their season.
Mourinho and Pogba have been at each other’s throats all season — most publicly during a training-ground row on September 26.
The World-Cup winning star was also told he would never captain the club again — although Mourinho insisted Pogba was never vice-captain.
But Saturday evening showed how they could work together.
It was such a contrast to the start of the day when Mourinho received a text message from a board member telling him to ignore stories he was about to be sacked.
United’s Group Managing Director Richard Arnold even hugged the Special One after the game as the manager was being interviewed.
Mourinho was being asked about his future and seeing United chief Ed Woodward’s right-hand man Arnold walk past, he said ‘ask him’.
Arnold hugged Mourinho and said ‘well done’.
Mourinho’s job has been on the line with Zinedine Zidane waiting in the wings.
But yesterday the ex-Real Madrid coach’s agent said he would NOT be interested in the job.
Agent Alain Migliaccio said: “I do not think that he will manage in England. It is much less his style.
“I have discussed it with him, it does not really attract him. He has chosen to have a year out, he will not dive in again before that.”
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