I've played through pain for United, Smalling says

"Against Chelsea, he changed our tactical formation just before the game", Pogba told Sky Sports News. There's always something. It's about going on the pitch and doing a job.

"The world is his oyster - he can be one of the best", Smalling said of a player he had not been aware of until just days before his debut.

In April, speaking after United had beaten Anderlecht in the Europa League quarterfinal, Mourinho said: "It's time for Jones and Smalling to be courageous, because for the team you have to do everything".

The former Chelsea gaffer said: "This year, I had the most hard season of my career". I feel I'm ready, more than ready, to play men's football now. They're talking Tiger, their best coaches and how top players blagged their way through the dressing room, before Stephen tries his hand at our Chipping Challenge.

"It's good when he shows that frustration because it shows he wants you back out on that pitch".

Pogba played in the 5-0 friendly win over Paraguay last week - failing to get on the scoresheet.

Smalling's focus right now is on global matters as Saturday's mouth-watering World Cup qualifier in Scotland looms large.

"I think his numbers speak for themselves and he's still got a long way to go in his career".

Comments Smalling believes were made in frustration.

Smalling was one of the players to whom Mourinho was referring when he complained that the attitude was "cautious, cautious, cautious" and, again, when he talked about the player missing a game against Swansea City last November and spoke at length about there being "a difference between the fearless, who want to play at any cost, and the ones for whom a little pain can make a difference".

"He's a fantastic talent and I'm glad he's on my team".

  • Leroy Wright