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."
|Draxler warns Germany: Mbappe has 300 hp!|
|Draymond Green says Warriors will have to ´bring it´ every night in the West|
|England´s ´wonderful bravery´ leaves Southgate excited for the future|
|Jayasuriya: I always conduct myself with integrity and transparency|
|Northern Ireland stars hurt by lack of club football, says O´Neill|
|Rodgers inspires late Packers comeback|
|Brewers blank Dodgers to take 2-1 NLCS lead|
|Cavaliers, Nance agree to four-year extension|
|Ramos wants Spain to believe in Luis Enrique´s team|
|De Laurentiis: I´ve spoken to Genoa and agent about Piatek|
|Kaka tips bright future for Paqueta after Milan agreement|
|Suns star Booker set to return for season opener|
|Warriors coach Kerr not expecting fast start from NBA champs|
|Fultz to start for 76ers as Brown eyes NBA Finals|
|Maltese champions Valletta want Usain Bolt|
|It would have been normal to kill them! Luis Enrique slams abysmal Spain|
|Seahawks, Trail Blazers owner Paul Allen dies aged 65|
|Red Sox ace Sale released from hospital, still set for game five|
|Beer-throwing fan banned by Patriots|
|Southgate lauds ´tremendous´ attackers after famous Spain win|
|Djokovic closing in on summit as he scales new heights|
|Monaco the natural move for Henry - Martinez|
|Ending England drought a ´beautiful feeling´ – Sterling|
|Halep to face Pavlyuchenkova in Moscow comeback|
|NBA 2018-19: Five non-LeBron James storylines to follow|
|Spain 2 England 3: Kane inspires Three Lions as Sterling ends drought in style|
|Bosnia-Herzegovina 2 Northern Ireland 0: Dzeko double leaves O´Neill´s side on the brink|
|Mannarino stops the rot in Moscow|
|Neymar pleased Brazil will not face Messi in Argentina clash|
|Buccaneers fire defensive coordinator Mike Smith after loss to Falcons|
|´Surprised´ Deschamps accepts he could´ve made more effort with Koscielny|
|Kuwait 0 Australia 4: Socceroos deliver win for new coach Arnold|
|Van Dijk fit for Liverpool return - Koeman|
|NBA 2018-19: Eastern Conference predictions|
|NBA 2018-19: Five rookies to watch|
|Denly replaces injured Dawson in England ODI squad|
|Low confirms under-fire Neuer to start against France|
|NBA 2018-19: Western Conference predictions|
|Bolt offered two-year deal by European club, says agent|
|NBA 2018-19: LeBron the Laker - what it means|
|Griezmann ahead of Mbappe for Ballon d´Or - Modric|
|Billy Vunipola ruled out with fractured arm|
|Get the chequebook out! - Mayweather talks up potential Khabib clash|
|Amla ruled out of Australia tour|
|Class act Hamilton more complete than ever - Wolff|
|NBA 2018-19: It´s a big season for - Ball, Kawhi, Carmelo, Love & Cousins|
|Bellew: I have no fear of Usyk|
|Birthday boy Ozil is the most creative player in Europe|
|CSA reveals De Villiers and Rabada involved in Mzansi Super League|
|FA condemns England supporters involved in trouble in Seville|
|Gascoigne hits back over Scottish Hall of Fame snub|
|NBA 2018-19: LeBron closing in on Jordan, Curry chasing Miller and Allen|
|Ter Stegen should start ahead of Neuer for Germany – Matthaus|
|England´s Sterling impressed by Sancho´s work ethic|
|Vandoorne seals switch to Formula E|
|Halep to end 2018 as world number one|
|Sri Lanka´s Jayasuriya charged by ICC with breaching anti-corruption code|
|Vermaelen out for six weeks with hamstring injury|
|LeBron and Irving did not fall out, says ex-Cavs trainer|
|Ramsey out of Wales´ clash with Republic of Ireland|
|Bolt angry with drugs test|
|Bad luck is not a coincidence – Kimmich concerned by Germany form|
|Mahomes: Chiefs need to win like Brady and the Patriots|
|Schuster warns Real Madrid not to panic-buy striker in January|
|We´re here to win! - Paine not happy celebrating a draw|
|Injured Thauvin out of Germany clash|
|Southgate hits out at early Premier League start|
|Modric to Inter talk is ´fantasy´, says Guardiola|
|Pats hand first loss to Chiefs after wild shoot-out|
|Cowboys, Ravens dominate as Pats beat Chiefs in NFL classic|