Sports 

Manchester United fans realising Fellaini can be useful – Mourinho

Jose Mourinho has praised the performance of Marouane Fellaini against Middlesbrough and believes supporters are starting to recognise his true value.

Named in the XI to face Aitor Karanka’s side on New Year’s Eve, Fellaini had not started for the club since November 6 and had been booed by his own fans after a disastrous substitute outing at Everton, where he conceded a late penalty.

The Belgian impressed as the Red Devils came from behind to beat Boro on Saturday, however, with Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba scoring in the final five minutes to snatch a 2-1 win.

With Michael Carrick missing the game due to illness, Mourinho specifically praised Fellaini, saying that United fans who had criticised him would now be changing their tune.

Also discussing the fitness of captain Wayne Rooney, Mourinho told reporters: “I hope [Carrick will be fit at West Ham]. I don’t know. Rooney has a little chance and Michael has a bigger chance, let’s see how he is.

“But I’m really happy with Fellaini. I’m really happy with the way he played.

“The connection with the fans, I think they realised how useful he is, they realised how much he is with the team.”

United face West Ham looking to make it six Premier League wins in a row, with Mourinho’s men now unbeaten in 12 games in all competitions.

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