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."
|Mahomes: Chiefs must not repeat mistakes against Patriots|
|Higuain´s Supercoppa benching due to virus, says Milan boss Gattuso|
|Brown fires back at Arians over ´diva´ comments|
|Stone heading home from West Indies tour with back injury|
|Shazier will continue rehab with intention of playing again|
|That´s why we signed him! Allegri hails Supercoppa match-winner Ronaldo|
|Monaco on worst home run in club´s history after Nice draw|
|Atletico Madrid 3 Girona 3 (4-4 agg): Simeone´s side out on away goals|
|Gregg Williams is Jets´ new defensive coordinator|
|Ronaldo: Supercoppa triumph just the start for Juve|
|Monaco confirm Batshuayi talks|
|You know more than me! Bielsa´s Barcelona research surprised Guardiola|
|Juventus 1 AC Milan 0: Ronaldo heads Bianconeri to Supercoppa glory|
|Kane injury cannot be excuse for Tottenham – Pochettino|
|Woods to open 2019 schedule at Torrey Pines|
|Reported Liverpool target Dabbur to undergo Sevilla medical|
|Lebanon v North Korea: Radulovic calls on players to make history|
|MLS MVP Martinez signs five-year contract with Atlanta|
|WBC set deadline for Wilder-Fury rematch|
|Iran 0 Iraq 0: Team Melli top Group D after dull draw|
|Vietnam 2 Yemen 0: Quang Hai shines to give Golden Dragons hope|
|Bielsa admits to spying on all Leeds´ opponents|
|Valverde open to arrivals amid De Jong tug-of-war|
|Sexton named in Ireland squad for Six Nations openers|
|Higuain benched for Supercoppa Italiana amid Chelsea links|
|De Grandhomme, Latham and Santner back in Black Caps squad|
|Oman v Turkmenistan: Verbeek tells players to ´score as many as possible´|
|Japan v Uzbekistan: Cuper not distracted by potential last-16 opponents|
|Brown desperate for England recall|
|Lowry ties course record in Abu Dhabi|
|James is playing for Bayern future – Kovac|
|Wizards can compete for playoffs in LeBron-less East despite injuries - Brooks|
|Kyrgyzstan 3 Philippines 1: Lux hat-trick gives White Falcons third-place hope|
|South Korea 2 China 0: Son sets the standard as Bento´s men take top spot|
|Saudi Arabia v Qatar: Top spot on the line in Group E|
|Wasps pull off Fekitoa coup|
|Fresh injury woe for Real Madrid defender Vallejo|
|Home sweet home for Wozniacki as Stephens conquers Melbourne demons|
|Nadal: Victory over Ebden a step forward|
|Proteas rest Steyn and De Kock for opening ODIs|
|Nadal and Federer march on as rising stars prosper|
|Barcelona president Bartomeu convinced Valverde will stay|
|Inter forward Keita suffers thigh injury|
|Nadal races into third round with easy Ebden win|
|Kimmich ´perfect´ for Barcelona, says Xavi|
|Richardson and Nabi inspire Renegades´ rout of Sixers|
|This Liverpool isn´t a team of chokers – Mane|
|Central Coast Mariners 2 Melbourne City 1: Late Simon winner ends 10-match losing streak|
|Bryan backs Murray to return after hip resurfacing surgery|
|Scotland coach Townsend turns to trio of uncapped hookers|
|Spurs´ Aurier arrested on suspicion of assault, released without charge|
|That was a fireworks show - Warriors revel in record-breaking first quarter|
|We are in talks with Chelsea – Salihamidzic reiterates interest in Hudson-Odoi|
|´Proud´ Messi recognises impact of team-mates after reaching 400 LaLiga goals|
|Henry v Vieira: The Arsene Wenger proteges to move into coaching|
|Federer enjoys ´cat and mouse´ win over Evans|
|Wozniacki cruises through in Melbourne|
|Federer maintains perfect Australian Open second-round record|
|Warriors set NBA record, Butler´s 76ers rout Timberwolves|
|´I like the fact we beat them´ - 76ers´ Butler revels in win over Timberwolves|
|Murray says he´ll ´probably´ have operation|
|Australian Open tribute for Andy Murray surprises brother Jamie|
|Warriors score NBA record 51 points in first quarter against Nuggets|
|Panthers owner Tepper doesn´t rule out Newton missing 2019 because of shoulder injury|
|De Ligt will be world´s best centre-back – Koeman|
|Ronaldo a ´perfect machine´, says Gattuso|
|Barcelona? I can´t say anything - Stuani|
|Silva upbeat about Man City title chances|
|Celtics youngsters say Irving´s callout ´came from a good place´|
|NFL playoffs: Patrick Mahomes v Tom Brady|