Mourinho: Why I benched Pogba for Huddersfield victory

Date published: Sunday 4th February 2018 9:43

Jose Mourinho insists little should be made of his decision to drop Paul Pogba to the Manchester United bench for the 2-0 victory over Huddersfield on Saturday.

Mourinho handed Alexis Sanchez his home debut as the Red Devils eventually earned a victory against a stubborn Town side – though all the talk before hand had been the United boss’ decision to leave their record signing Pogba on the bench.

Mourinho felt it had been a “solid” team performance from United in a match that was preceded by a minute’s silence for the victims of the Munich air disaster – the 60th anniversary of which is on Tuesday – and saw the players wearing black armbands as a mark of respect.

The Portuguese opted to drop Pogba from his starting XI three days on from the 2-0 away loss to Tottenham, bringing in Scott McTominay, with Phil Jones also left out.

Mourinho said of the decision: “I changed a few players and the intention was not to punish anyone.

“I made a few changes thinking about the characteristics of this game.

“Paul is a fantastic player – no doubt for me one of the most talented midfield players in the world. But to sit on the bench one day is not the end of the world.

“I think this kid [McTominay] has a great desire to recover the ball when the team is not in possession.

“He’s a kid that chases the ball, that tries to recover high up the pitch and when he has the ball it is always simple.

“And against opponents like Huddersfield, so close and with so many bodies behind the ball, the simplicity sometimes is genius.”

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