"Since he came back from injury he has been phenomenal", Mourinho said.
With Manchester United virtually locked into the knockout rounds for some time - but still needing to get across the line - Paul Pogba was likely to be rested for Tuesday's match with CSKA Moscow until he picked up a red card this weekend against Arsenal. Sooner or later it will arrive because he deserves it.
"Of course, he's a bit exhausted because it was a huge match at the weekend and just two days to recover for CSKA". 'He needs sometimes very hard work on the muscular area that supporters the knee.
"Our young players will have something to learn from him playing in the game but at the same time we can not allow him to play at his best and show everything he is capable of".
Ibrahimovic recently returned from a long-term knee injury but Mourinho confirmed that the experienced Swedish striker will miss the game against the Russian side at Old Trafford.
United can of course derail that attempt, inflict City's first defeat of the season, and cut the gap to the top for five points if they can take all three points, but Mourinho has declared that facing CSKA is the only thing the players and coaching staff are interested in for now.
"When a period of hard work comes, also the fatigue comes".
"He's on that cycle of work now, divided between gym and pitch".
"I am going to make a few, but not too many, changes".
But he will give Luke Shaw the chance to put himself in the shop window. "He is out again for tomorrow but back to normal after CSKA".
Mourinho has confirmed that Luke Shaw will get a rare call-up to the squad on Tuesday night but he refused to divulge whether the left-back will start or be named on the bench.
"All the other players that didn't play the last match are still out", he said, before mischievously adding when asked about Carrick, "I can make a surprise tomorrow and the one that is unavailable, he plays". Selected tomorrow - yes for sure. "There are other clubs also involved in the qualification and I need to keep a certain balance in the team", Mourinho said. "Whether he starts or is on the bench, I can not answer".