Jose Mourinho saluted the "professionalism" of Paul Pogba for his response to being dropped for Manchester United's draw at Sevilla and subsequently needing "just 10 seconds" to be ready as a substitute.
Pogba has had a difficult few weeks at United, initially being dropped for the Premier League meeting with Huddersfield Town at the start of February and then suffering a similar fate in Spain on Wednesday.
Mourinho had given every indication Pogba was in line to start at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan after recovering from illness, but the Frenchman was held back in reserve – Nemanja Matic, Ander Herrera and Scott McTominay starting instead.
But an injury to Herrera – who Mourinho expects to be out for a few weeks – meant Pogba was handed the chance for a reprieve after just 17 minutes and Mourinho believes his response to such disappointment was impressive.
"You saw the game against Sevilla," Mourinho told reporters when asked if Pogba's state of mind was right ahead of Sunday's visit of Chelsea.
The boss on Paul Pogba: “He had a very positive game for us [against Sevilla]. He took just 10 seconds to be ready to come on the pitch, and play and help the team, which he did. He showed great professionalism.” #MUFC pic.twitter.com/UJMKZofYlj— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 23, 2018
"It's always more difficult to come on from the bench than to start. When starting, a player has a different kind of preparation, so to be on the bench and come on even without warming up in the 15th or 20th minute is not easy and I think he had a very positive game for us.
"Sometimes players take five minutes to be ready. They don't have shin pads, strapping, they don't have this or that. He took just 10 seconds to be ready, showed professionalism and in spite of being on bench he was ready to play and he did.
"He responded in a very professional way both times he was on the bench. He was on the bench versus Huddersfield in the Premier League and responded in a very professional way and did the same against Sevilla."
It was also put to Mourinho that Romelu Lukaku could perhaps be accused of not doing well against the bigger sides due to a poor scoring record versus the top six, but the manager dismissed that opinion as nonsense.
"I don't know," Mourinho said when asked if he could explain Lukaku's apparent struggles against big clubs.
"But I'm not worried. Twenty-one goals is not bad at all and I don't measure the performances in the same ways you do.
"I have other points of analysis. I'm happy with his performances even when he doesn't score goals."
|Milan avoid UEFA ban in FFP punishments.|
|Mourinho compares Liverpool to ´an amazing house´ but insists trophies matter|
|Brisbane Roar 2 Melbourne Victory 4: Muscat´s men hit A-League summit|
|Bumrah confident second Test is ´in the balance´ after India recovery|
|Isco gesture was for a corner or foul, claims Solari|
|Harris leads Australia into ascendancy on day one|
|ATP announces candidates to host future Finals|
|Ronaldo: Juventus fans refuse to lose to Torino|
|Hero Rivers feared he had cost Chargers in KC|
|Williams would welcome Llorente back to Athletic Bilbao|
|Liverpool v Manchester United: Minding the gap|
|Milan elimination unjust, fumes Leonardo|
|Paul hails ´sick´ Harden after record-breaking display|
|Liverpool v Manchester United: Salah, Mane and Firmino v Rashford, Martial and Lukaku in Opta number|
|Canelo open to GGG trilogy as he chases place in Mexican history|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|
|Harden posts record fourth 50-point triple-double in win over Lakers|
|Barcelona squad happy with Dembele, says Alba|
|Chargers rally past Chiefs to clinch playoff spot|
|WATCH: Chargers top Chiefs on dramatic two-point conversion in final seconds|
|Suns owner Sarver committed to keeping team in Phoenix|
|Chargers WR Allen leaves with injury after near-spectacular catch|
|Socceroos not giving up on Mooy for Asian Cup|
|Cooper says Raiders owner wanted to trade him to Cowboys|
|Pochettino jokes Levy is ´worried´ about losing him|
|Barcelona would welcome Morata – Alba|
|Toure not a priority for West Ham – Pellegrini|
|Koscielny no certainty to face Southampton, says Emery|
|We gifted the game – AC Milan boss Gattuso furious after Europa League exit|
|My season starts now, says Koscielny|
|Cipriani ´at peace´ with latest England snub|
|Laporte: Deschamps must have personal reasons for France snub|
|Morata injury not too serious, claims Chelsea boss Sarri|
|Hansen to leave: All Blacks coach returning focus to World Cup defence|
|I want to fight the champion! - Joshua reiterates Wilder in April ambition|
|Gundogan glad to leave Christmas holidays behind|
|I know how it feels and it hurts - Gundogan on Sterling abuse|
|Celtic 1 Red Bull Salzburg 2: Scottish champions through despite defeat|
|Olympiacos 3 AC Milan 1: Rossoneri crash out of Europa League|
|Arsenal 1 Qarabag 0: Lacazette on target as Saka shines|
|Hansen to leave: All Blacks will take time to name replacement|
|Chelsea condemn alleged anti-Semitic chanting from fans|
|Hansen to leave: The best Opta facts from New Zealand coach´s tenure|
|Hansen to leave: Five contenders to be the next All Blacks coach|
|Hansen to leave: Highs and highs of his All Blacks reign|
|Hansen to leave All Blacks after World Cup|
|Rapid Vienna 1 Rangers 0: Late Ljubicic winner sends Gerrard´s men out|
|Beckham continues to miss Giants practice with quad injury|
|Vidi 2 Chelsea 2: Giroud spares Sarri´s side in lacklustre draw|
|Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille fixtures among latest Ligue 1 cancellations|
|Santos turn to ex-Argentina boss Sampaoli|
|Muller could miss Champions League last 16 after Tagliafico kick|
|Home hope Bekker out in front at Alfred Dunhill Championship|
|Van Bommel in touch with Robben over PSV reunion|
|Pinarello chief confident over Team Sky future|
|Stade make Ospreys tickets free in tribute to teenager|
|WRC great Loeb seals Hyundai switch|
|Madrid rumours better than sack talk, says Pochettino|
|Nadal to join Federer at 2019 Laver Cup|
|Prigoda smashes world record, Hosszu dethroned in Hangzhou|
|Former Juve CEO Marotta takes over at Inter|
|Glenn to stand down as FA boss next year|
|Muller apologises to Tagliafico for kick to the head|
|Pereira pleads for more Manchester United chances|
|Griffin hails ´phenomenal´ Lowry after Warriors demolition|
|I´ve played with Zidane and Henry, but Messi is something else – Pires|
|Dragons forward Jack de Belin charged with sexual assault|
|Durant: Raptors are the real deal|
|Cocu bids farewell to Fenerbahce after ´mutual agreement´ is made over October sacking|
|Australia unchanged for historic Perth Test|