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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is backing Fred to step up into the shoes of Paul Pogba while he remains on the sidelines with an ankle injury.

The Manchester United manager revealed on Sunday that the France international is likely to be out longer than was first thought, with a return now pencilled in for December at the earliest.

But Solskjaer is confident that Fred can fill the hole – with a bit of help from his friend and compatriot.

“Fred will probably take Paul’s position for a while now and that’s been brilliant for us. But Andreas Pereira has grown in the last few games. His energy and running, chasing, he is a different sort of 10.

“I think his energy and drive – both Brazilians to be fair – are going to be important for us. Scott McTominay was excellent, but Scotty is a different player.

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“He can play also in the central positions, so I am delighted with him.”

All three are likely to be rested for the Carabao Cup trip to Stamford Bridge tomorrow (10.05pm) and as for Pogba, Solskjaer has banned talk of him until he is ready to set back onto the pitch.

“There is no use talking about who is not going to be here for a long, long time, because he is not going to come on the pitch and help us until he is fit,” Solskjaer said.

“Paul’s been brilliant and he is a creative midfielder that we need, but then it is up to the others to step up.”