Sunday 19 November 2017

Jose Mourinho reveals the 'simple phonecall' that saw Marouane Fellaini stay at Man United

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 28: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Manager Jose Mourinho and Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United in action during a first team training session at Aon Training Complex on July 28, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by John Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 28: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Manager Jose Mourinho and Marouane Fellaini of Manchester United in action during a first team training session at Aon Training Complex on July 28, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by John Peters/Man Utd via Getty Images)
Will Slattery

Will Slattery

Man United have made a blistering start to their Premier League campaign after two convincing wins.

Their attack looks sharper than last season's, with the addition of Zlatan Ibrahimovic paying dividend already.

But although the Swede's three league goals, and the majesty of world record signing Paul Pogba, has stood out, there have been other changes that have been equally important.

Eric Bailly already looks like a solid defensive addition while Marouane Fellaini is earning plaudits for his new role in the team.

Used primarily as a late game targetman by Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho has opted to deploy the Belgian as part of a two man holding midfield.

Fellaini has looked composed in a defensive unit that has given away one goal and few chances over 180 minutes of league football thus far.

The performance of the big-haired Belgian has surprised many, with Fellaini thought to be one of many departures once Mourinho assumed control of the team.

However, the Portuguese manager revealed after last night's 2-0 win over Southampton that he clarified Fellaini's future immediately after he was announced as the Man United boss.

"Maybe a simple phone call can make a difference," Mourinho said in quotes reported by the Daily Express.

"[He was] a player that was feeling not loved. A player that when the season and the market opened, everybody was saying he was leaving and was not a player for me.

"But maybe a simple phone call the day after my presentation as Manchester United manager changed a lot because I told him 'forget everything you read, for me you don’t leave, for sure'.

"Then I think the more organised the team play, the easier for the players it is to feel confident. He's playing well, with [Michael] Carrick, with [Ander] Herrera, with Paul [Pogba].

"I think he's full of confidence."

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