The 55-year-old, in response to rumours suggesting his relationship with Pogba had soured, made it clear that the Frenchman would start against David Wagner’s men.
But on the morning of the game it was revealed that Man United’s £89m man would miss the game with illness, with Ethan Hamilton coming into the squad and Scott McTominay taking his place in the starting XI.
Speaking after the game, Mourinho insisted that Pogba was fine yesterday and noted he didn’t know what had changed by the morning.
Jose Mourinho says "we have to wait to see what is going on" with Paul Pogba.
"I have not seen him. Yesterday he was working normal with us in our preparations. and he was in the team. This morning he was not feeling right to play." #MUFC
— Shamoon Hafez (@ShamoonHafez) February 17, 2018
We shouldn’t flatly rule out that Pogba simply endured a nasty overnight illness, leaving him laid out and unable to feature against Huddersfield, but nobody can deny that this latest episode only adds fuel to the murkiness of his predicament at Old Trafford.
Mourinho’s reaction, for one thing, holds similarities with his clear disappointment at Luke Shaw and Chris Smalling last season for pulling out of clashes with Swansea City and Chelsea respectively at the last minute.
This may be nothing, but you can’t help but feel as if a disjunct between Mourinho and his best player is forming at a time when it needs to be closer than ever.