Patrice Evra told France fans not to worry about Paul Pogba after the latest round of questions over his Juventus team-mate’s form at Euro 2016.
Pogba was widely viewed as the man who would be the star of France’s bid for glory on home soil, but has largely failed to convince ahead of Sunday’s quarter-final with Iceland at the Stade de France.
Following a listless showing in the tournament opener against Romania, he was dropped to the bench alongside Atletico Madrid star Antoine Griezmann and featured as a second-half substitute to help Didier Deschamps’ men make it two wins from two versus Albania.
Griezmann definitively made his mark on the tournament with a brace as France beat the Republic of Ireland in the last 16, although they fell behind after Pogba conceded a second-minute penalty.
Evra also played alongside Pogba during the latter’s formative years at Manchester United – a club he has been linked with a return to – and urged calm while facing a string of questions over his star colleague at France’s Clairefontaine training base on Thursday.
“Everybody thinks I am Paul’s dad,” he joked.
“Paul wants to do well, he wants to succeed. In football you can’t always succeed. He is very good and very happy – don’t worry. He will respond when we need him like Griezmann did in the previous match.”
Meanwhile, Evra believes England might have shown a lack of respect to Iceland and insists France will not make the same mistake in Sunday’s Euro 2016 quarter-final.
Iceland came from behind to record a stunning 2-1 win in Nice, a result that prompted the departure of England boss Roy Hodgson.
Former Manchester United left-back Evra expected England to prevail, but is adamant the host nation will not repeat their mistakes in the concluding last-eight match at the Stade de France.