Fellaini So Grateful for Jose's Trust

Daily Mail (London), January 11, 2017 | Go to article overview

Fellaini So Grateful for Jose's Trust


Byline: CHRIS WHEELER at Old Trafford

JOSE MOURINHO was expecting a handshake but got a little more than he bargained for. Marouane Fellaini flung himself around his manager on the touchline as Mourinho's face briefly disappeared into that mop of curly hair.

Fellaini's reaction to scoring Manchester United's second goal was a mixture of joy and gratitude. Mourinho has stood by his player this season through some dark times, even by Fellaini's standards.

The big Belgian has divided opinion since signing from Everton under David Moyes three and a half years ago. But he hit a low point last month when he came on as a substitute against Tottenham at Old Trafford to a chorus of boos, a week after giving away a late penalty against his old club at Goodison Park.

It was a painful experience and Fellaini could have left United on the back of it. When Mourinho gave his players two days off before Christmas, the midfielder travelled to Italy with his twin brother Mansour amid interest from AC Milan and Inter, having asked some of his team-mates for advice about life in Serie A. Fast forward a month from the Spurs game, and the United fans were singing Fellaini's name last night after he headed a late goal that will make the second leg at Hull in two weeks' time a significantly more comfortable experience.

Mourinho had told Fellaini before sending him on as a replacement for United's other scorer Juan Mata that he would score the second.

'I think he wanted to show that he knows how much I supported him in a couple of difficult moments for him,' said Mourinho.

'But that's why I am here, to always support the players, especially the players in a difficult situation. He has a very strong mentality and he always coped well with the situation. …

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