Jose Mourinho: Man United players must earn trust after Paul Pogba demotion
MANCHESTER, England -- Jose Mourinho has sent a warning to his Manchester United players that they must earn his trust in the wake of Paul Pogba's demotion against Sevilla.
Pogba was left out of the starting XI for the first leg of the Champions League round of 16 in Spain -- a decision to which Mourinho insists the midfielder has responded well.
But the United manager has also reminded his players they must all earn his trust if they want to play and pointed to 21-year-old Scott McTominay, who started instead of Pogba against Sevilla, as an example.
"I think I don't give trust for free," Mourinho said at a news conference on Friday. "I think is the other way round. I don't think it's about the manager to trust the player. [It] is the player to make the manager trust him. [It] is as simple as that.
"Sometimes it looks like we have to give everything to the players and they give nothing back to us. I don't think that way. The confidence and trust I show towards Scott, he earned it since day one, since he come to the first team training sessions.
"Of course, he will have bad matches and make mistakes and be on the bench and not be selected, but I know when I want him to play, I know the kind of mentality."
Pogba is likely to return to the team against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday with Ander Herrera ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Mourinho is expecting Herrera to be sidelined "for weeks" while also saying Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo, Marouane Fellaini, Daley Blind and Zlatan Ibrahimovic are not ready to return.
Mourinho insists Pogba has been "professional" after being dropped for games against Huddersfield Town and Sevilla in the last fortnight and insisted the 24-year-old's performance in the Champions League in midweek was "positive."
Mourinho added: "You saw the game against Sevilla. It's always more difficult to come from the bench than to start.
"To come on without warming up and getting to the pace of the game is not easy and I think he had a very positive game for us.
"Some details are details and some players take five minutes to be ready to play. They don't have shin pads, strapping, the shirt. He took 10 seconds to be ready to come to the pitch to show the professionalism and show he was ready to help the team.
"He responded very well in a professional way both times. 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 Seville and did the same."
Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.