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Sports

Wake up! Pogba tells Manchester United after 3rd draw

media Paul Pogba wants his Manchester United teammates to show more vitality in their pursuit of Premier League leaders Manchester City. Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

France international Paul Pogba on Monday urged his Manchester United teammates to wake up after a third consecutive draw over the Christmas period saw them slip from second to third in the Premier League table.

A 2-2 draw at Leicester City on 22 December was followed by a similar scoreline on 26 December at home to Burnley.

A dour 0-0 at Old Trafford against Southampton on 30 December epitomised United's flailing pursuit of Pep Guardiola's Manchester City.

With Chelsea winnng their matches against Brighton and then Stoke City, the west Londoners leapfrogged United to go second on 44 points, still 14 points off Manchester City.

Selection problems

As his side prepared for a trip to Everton, United boss Jose Mourinho faces several selection problems.

Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has a knee problem that will sideline him for a month while defender Ashley Young will sit out the next three matches after accepting a violent conduct charge for a spat with Southampton's Dusan Tadic. Star striker Romelu Lukaku is also absent.

'Something has to change'

"We didn't lose but we have to wake up, bounce back and get back to winning," Pogba told MUTV. "Three draws, we have to win, something has to change and we have to change to win."

Pogba arrived at United at a cost of 100 million euros in August 2016 and has won three trophies under Mourinho. However the 2018 Premier League title appears remote with Manchester City unbeaten after 21 games with 59 from a possible 63 points.

United will take on Everton at Goodison Park without their spearhead striker Romelu Lukaku. The 24-year-old Belgium international was stretchered off early in the 0-0 draw against Southampton with a head injury.

"When we have Romelu, he makes it difficult for defenders and creates so much space as well," said Pogba. "He will be a big miss for us but we have the team to fill the gap of Romelu."

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