Eyebrows were raised in Spain on Wednesday evening when it was confirmed that callow Scott McTominay would start the Champions League last-16 first leg at Sevilla instead of their club-record signing.
Pogba would come on early in the 0-0 draw due to an injury to Ander Herrera and impressed Mourinho with his performance amid speculation over the star midfielder's relationship with the United manager.
Mourinho saluted Pogba's "positive" and "professional" performance after coming off the bench, but went on to use youngster McTominay as an example to the rest of the squad as to what is needed to thrive at Old Trafford,
"I think I don't give trust for free," Mourinho said before Sunday's Premier League clash against Chelsea at Old Trafford. "I think it's the other way around.
"I don't think it's about the manager to trust the player, I think it is the player to make the manager trust him. It's as simple as that.
"Sometimes it looks like we have to give everything to the players and the players they give nothing back to us. I don't think that way.
"I think the confidence, the trust that I show towards Scott, he earned it since day one.
"Since he come to the first-team training sessions, step-by-step of course with a lot to learn, with a long way to go.
"Even now after I would say maybe eight starts, something like that, he has a lot to learn, but since the first moment he was learning that is the way to perform.
"And of course, he will have bad matches, he will make mistakes, he will be on the bench and not be selected, but I know when I want him to play, I know the kind of mentality, the player that I am developing.
"I know the qualities that are going to make him a really good player. I know what he is really good at, I know where he has to improve, and I think he's going to be a very good player."