Steven Gerrard delivers verdict on 'horrible' Marouane Fellaini

Steven Gerrard delivers verdict on 'horrible' Marouane Fellaini”

The boos and sarcastic cheers from the Stretford End were finally transformed into applause when Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini walked off the pitch yesterday, after having scored a brilliant brace in the Red Devils' 4-0 triumph over Crystal Palace.

United have turned to Fellaini to help fill that void, with the versatile 29-year-old taking on a familiar role in the middle of the park.

With big money signings such as Paul Pogba and Nemanja Matic claiming numerous plaudits in midfield for a United team who have claimed 19 points from a possible 21 to sit joint-top of the fledgling table, Fellaini has quietly become a key piece of Mourinho's team.

The ex-Everton star has rebuilt his career under Mourinho this campaign, and the United boss believes that Fellaini's "strong character" has helped him do so.

The man himself told MUTV: "When I score, it's always a bonus".

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"I think only a strong character could resist the difficulties here because he had some hard times when people didn't recognise his qualities, when other managers didn't like so much the qualities he has".

"He had to be a strong character. I am really happy for him".

Fellaini's tally of three league goals so far this season is already more than in the previous two seasons combined. Mourinho's faith in Fellaini is certainly being rewarded now, and the Portugese said that he's happy to have changed perceptions of his player. "Sometimes we like players others don't like, some players perform better with some of us than others and I have examples of players that didn't perform well with me and did with other managers", Mourinho said at his postgame news conference.

"I think he's been quite clever keeping him as a plan B because sometimes you can try all the class and all the nice bits, but sometimes you need to go ugly, you need to go direct, you need to have a plan B". He has played with me as defensive midfielder, as second striker, adapted to the needs of the team. He is a team player.

"If we can stop the players doubting themselves too much, who knows, we may look back on this awful spell and say it helped us build the character to stay in the league".

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