Marouane Fellaini has shocked Manchester United fans over the past two matches.
The Belgium international barely put a foot wrong against Bournemouth last weekend and it was a similar story against Southampton on Friday night.
Fellaini was expected to be axed by Mourinho following three underwhelming seasons with the Red Devils - and particularly after his calamitous back-pass led to a Jamie Vardy goal against Leicester City in the Community Shield earlier this month - but it seems the much-maligned midfielder is going nowhere anytime soon.
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In his post-match press conference, Mourinho was asked how he’s managing to bring the best out of Fellaini, who successfully completed 40 out of 46 passes against the Saints.
Against Bournemouth, meanwhile, Fellaini misplaced just one of his 76 passes - giving him an incredible 99 per cent pass completion rate.
Mourinho explains why Fellaini is playing well
Asked what has caused this unexpected turnaround, Mourinho told reporters that a “simple phone call” in pre-season may have made a significant impact on the player.
"Maybe a simple phone call can make a difference,” the Portuguese coach was quoted as saying by the Manchester Evening News. “The player that was feeling not loved, a player that was feeling when the market opened, everybody was saying he was leaving, everybody was writing was not the player for me, he was on the move, maybe a simple phone call the day after my presentation changed a lot.
"Because I told him just simply, 'Forget everything you read, forget everything, with me you don't leave for sure.' Maybe that word of confidence - unexpected for him - maybe changed and I think the more organised the team played the easier for the players to feel confident.
"He's played well with [Michael] Carrick, he played well with [Ander] Herrera, he played well with Paul, [Pogba] I think he's full of confidence."
Mourinho feels the fans are getting behind players
Mourinho feels the supporters are now getting behind Fellaini because of his improved performances.
"I'm very happy. The crowd was magnificent," the United boss added. "I think they're creating a good relation with the team, with the players, even players I could feel in previous years the relation was not the best and it is the same clear example: Fellaini.
"He's playing so well that he's changing completely the relation. What pleases me more is not just the guys but the others who are coming to a different level, the way [Antonio] Valencia's playing, [Daley ]Blind, Marouane and I could give you other examples."
Reaction to Fellaini's display v Southampton
Here’s how United fans reacted to Fellaini’s performance v Southampton…
Does Marouane Fellaini have a big role to play at Manchester United this season? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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