Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned Paul Pogba he must hit the ground running on his return from injury if he wants to regain his place in the Manchester United team.
The Frenchman has been ruled out of action since the draw with Everton at the beginning of February but is edging closer to a comeback.
He is yet to begin training again with his teammates as he continues to nurse a thigh injury, and United could well be out of the title race by the time he is fit again.
Pogba was in good form prior to being sidelined, but Solskjaer insists the midfielder will not be selected if he is not firing on all cylinders.
When asked if we would see Pogba in any of United’s next six fixtures, Solskjaer replied: “I hope we will. Definitely. He’s very positive.
“He’s working really hard and he knows when he gets back, we haven’t got two or three games to give him time to play himself into form, so he’s working hard.
“When you’ve got the quality of Paul, his fitness is the main thing – and mentality. You know when the sun is out in Manchester, there’s nothing to complain about.”
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Taking home all three points from Selhurst Park would give United a punchers’ chance of catching their rivals, but they would almost certainly need to win the clash between the two sides at the Etihad on Sunday.
Focus then turns to their European exploits, with the home and away legs of the Europa League last-16 tie with AC Milan falling either side of the visit of West Ham.
United then go to Leicester in the FA Cup quarter-final to finish a period of six crucial games which could define their season.