Paul Pogba: I have 'complete trust' in Manchester United teammates
MANCHESTER -- Paul Pogba has backed his Manchester United teammates to win this weekend's derby without him.
The midfielder, 24, will miss the game against Manchester City at Old Trafford on Sunday after he was sent off in the 3-1 win over Arsenal.
It is a big blow for manager Jose Mourinho to be without his talisman for the top-of-the-table clash, but Pogba is confident whoever takes his place can help inflict a first Premier League defeat of the season on Pep Guardiola's side.
He said: "I have complete trust in the team. Even if I am not there, I will be there watching the game giving positive energy and hopefully we are going to win.
"I'm very disappointed because I really want to help the team and wanted to be there for this derby because obviously we are playing City and in this moment we need points and we need to win. It's an important moment, an important game so, like I say, disappointed."
Pogba was handed a three-game ban by the FA after a challenge on Hector Bellerin saw him dismissed by referee Andre Marriner at the Emirates.
The France international accepts the replays -- which showed his studs coming down on Bellerin's calf -- do not look good, but he insists the incident was completely accidental.
He added: "I didn't really speak after the game -- I didn't have time -- but I think Hector, I know him as well, and I would never give him a tackle like this.
"Unfortunately for me I thought he would put his feet and he was in a position that was a disadvantage for me so I have done it.
"It looks very bad but the intention wasn't like that. They had the decision, the referee got the red card and that's football."
United head into the game on the back of a club record equalling 40 games unbeaten at home. City, meanwhile, are looking to set a record of their own by winning a 14th consecutive game in the Premier League.
It is a clash of England's top two teams with City and United sitting first and second in the table.
Mourinho was criticised for his tactics in last season's league derby at Old Trafford -- the last time United lost at home -- but Pogba insists they will attack City on Sunday.
He said: "We need to. To win those games you need to give everything. You need to be there offensively, defensively. Kill the game when you have one chance because they are City and they have quality as well in front and they can kill the game at any time.
"They are first for good reason because they have been doing great at the start of the season. They keep winning and they didn't lose one game and obviously mentally they are very strong."
City's record of 14 wins and a draw from their first 15 games of the season has seen them open up an eight-point lead at the top of the table.
There is still more than half the campaign to play but Pogba, who helped United qualify for the round-of-16 of the Champions League with a 2-1 win over CSKA Moscow on Tuesday night, says they will have to win the first derby of the season to stand any chance of catching their rivals.
He said: "It's a big derby and the atmosphere is going to be big. We want to win, we need to win as well.
"They need to win because they know that we are behind and we are closing and closing. Manchester City against Manchester United has always been a big, big derby. One city, two clubs. You know how it is so I won't tell you what is going to happen.
"It's going to be a big atmosphere in the stadium and a big game with a big team and big players so that's the game you want to play. Unfortunately I won't play but I will be there to help the team mentally.
"We are still eight points [behind] so with eight points we cannot win the league. We are still behind. But if I don't believe [we could catch City] I stop playing football now."
Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.