Monday 23 October 2017

Mourinho finds a vocal backer from his United dressing room

Marouane Fellaini. Photo:PA
Marouane Fellaini. Photo:PA
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Marouane Fellaini is the latest Manchester United player to offer strong words of support for manager Jose Mourinho after another difficult week for the Old Trafford club.

United captain Wayne Rooney and full-back Luke Shaw are among the star names who have leapt to Mourinho’s defence in recent weeks after a troubled start to life at Old Trafford continued with a 2-1 defeat against Fenerbahce in the Europa League on Thursday night.

Mourinho’s criticism of his players after their defeat in Turkey revived memories of his attacks on members of the Chelsea squad he was in charge of this time last year, yet Fellaini is still fully behind his boss.

“Every player trusts him, his philosophy and we have to follow him. We trust him,” Fellaini told the Daily Mirror.

“He’s here to win things. He’s a manager with a lot of motivation, he wants to win, and that’s what we need.

“But to build a team you need time. I think we have the right manager and we have to give him the confidence and the time he needs.

“The fans want victories, they want good football, but I think the victories will come, we are not far away and we have to keep going.

“We have the quality, we have good players, and they all want to be there, at the top.

“But every year it gets more competitive in the Premier League. You have City, Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham, so it’s a big league with big teams.

“I don’t think we’re out of it, but we have to win, because the other teams above us keep on winning, but I’m sure they will lose games.

“It’s still early in the season and we have to fight, to believe, to win games. We’ll give everything to be back in the Champions League next season.

“With the players we have, the staff we have and the club we are, we have to be in the Champions League.”

Fellaini also hit back at reports that have claimed Mourinho is distant with his players, as he claimed the Portuguese tactician was close to United’s big names.

“He’s always there, every day he’s there,” added Fellaini. “He never takes a day off. He’s there, talking to players, and if there’s is something to say, he’ll say it.

“He’s a manager who is close to his players, close to the training pitch, so he’s there.

“The training is good and his speeches, in bad moments, are good, and I think he’s the right manager for us.

“He has a lot of experience, he has led some great teams, big teams as well, so he knows how to handle a team and a squad.”

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