Thursday 22 March 2018

Mourinho hails Pogba reaction to bench role

Spain: Pogba in action against Sevilla. Photo: Reuters
Spain: Pogba in action against Sevilla. Photo: Reuters

Paul Pogba's professional response to being dropped has impressed Jose Mourinho, who has underlined the need for Manchester United's stars to earn his trust.

Eyebrows were raised in Spain on Wednesday evening when it was confirmed that callow Scott McTominay would start the Champions League last-16 first leg at Sevilla instead of their club-record signing.

Pogba would come on early in the 0-0 draw due to an injury to Ander Herrera and impressed Mourinho with his performance amid speculation over the star midfielder's relationship with the United manager.

"You saw the game against Sevilla," the Portuguese said. "I think it's 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's easier.

"To be on the bench and to come on even without warming up, minute 15 and get into the pace of the game is not easy, and I think he had a very positive game for us.

"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 in Sevilla and he did the same."

There does, though, appear little chance of the scrutiny surrounding Pogba's performances and happiness diminishing anytime soon.

The France midfielder may well return to the starting line-up against Chelsea this Sunday after Herrera aggravated a muscle injury in Seville, with Mourinho expecting the midfielder to miss a "few weeks".

The Spain midfielder's absence may be keenly felt tomorrow given his superb man-marking job on Eden Hazard when United won last season's Old Trafford encounter.

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