Jose Mourinho has praised Paul Pogba for responding ‘very professionally’ to being dropped from the starting lineup.
Paul Pogba has been overlooked for selection twice in the Manchester United’ last five games, coming off the bench against both Huddersfield Town and Sevilla.
Pogba, who was taken off in two of the other games and missed the third through illness, is said to have had a falling out with Mourinho, perhaps explaining his failure to complete a full 90 minutes in more than a month.
Mourinho’s decision to leave out the 24-year-old for the Champions League last-16 first-leg tie in Seville was particularly surprising, though the Portuguese is happy with the way his £89m man responded after replacing the injured Ander Herrera early on.
“You saw the game against Sevilla,” he told reporters at Friday afternoon’s press conference.
It is always more difficult to come from the bench than to start. A player when he is starting the game has a different kind of preparation for it and it is easier.
“To be on the bench and to come on without warming up and get into the pace is not easy. I think he had a very positive game for us. And details are details. Sometimes players on the bench take five minutes to be ready to play. They don’t have the shinpads or the strapping or the shirt or this or that.
“He took ten seconds to be ready to come to the pitch. He showed his professionalism and that despite being on the bench he was ready to play and to help the team. And he did. I think he responded in a very professional way, both times he was on the bench.
“He was on the bench against Huddersfield in the Premier League and he responded in a professional way. And he was on the bench against Sevilla and he did the same.”