Jose Mourinho says a simple phone call revitalised the performances of Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini.
Fellaini was impressive once again in central midfield as United beat Southampton 2-0 to secure their second win from two games.
It was believed that the Belgian did not have a playing future under Mourinho when the manager was appointed earlier this summer, but a player criticised under the reigns of both David Moyes and Louis van Gaal has emerged as an important piece of the Old Trafford puzzle.
Fellaini started alongside debutant Paul Pogba in midfield, and although the world’s most expensive player stole the headlines, Matt Stead feels that his partner, as well as two others who had been consigned to the United exit, deserve credit.
“The player was feeling not loved,” said Mourinho of the former Everton man.
“When the market opened everybody was saying he was leaving, everybody was writing he was not the player for me, he was on the move, maybe a simple phone call the day after my presentation changed a lot.
“I told him just simply ‘forget everything you read, forget everything, with me you don’t leave for sure’. Maybe that word of confidence was unexpected for him.”