By 90Min
February 22, 2018

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has given his reasons for not starting Paul Pogba in their UEFA Champions League round of 16 first leg match against Sevilla on Wednesday. 

Pogba started the game on the bench, but was an early substitute when he came on to replace the injured Ander Herrera in the 17th minute of the game. 

Pogba didn't feature in United's last outing in the FA Cup, a 2-0 win at Huddersfield Town - due to illness - and Mourinho has cited that as the reason for the Frenchman not getting a starting berth at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium.

"You [the media] always go to the one who doesn’t start." The Portuguese manager told BT Sport (via the Metro) ahead of the game on Wednesday. 

"Because [Scott] McTominay is working hard every day, feeling good, feeling strong, played the last match for 90 minutes, Paul [Pogba]… last Saturday he wasn’t able to play.

"We believe this kind of game, of course, demands quality, but is a kind of game where I think a player must feel 100 per cent."

Mourinho also denied claims that the decision to not start Pogba may have been a tactical one.

"No, I don’t say so much tactical, we are going to play with three midfield players." He said.

"Paul could perfectly play in one of these two roles where Herrera and McTominay are going to play but Paul created some doubt by not playing last Saturday, by not playing by his own decision, he was not feeling good, and created some doubts."

Manchester United host Sevilla in the second leg of the tie at Old Trafford on March 13th. 

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