Fellaini was widely lambasted by supporters following a shambolic substitute appearance during Man United’s 1-1 draw with Everton that saw the 29-year-old give away a penalty minutes after coming on.
The Belgian, clearly buoyed by the support shown by his manager, has mounted something of an individual resurgence in recent weeks with important contributions in recent games against Hull City and Liverpool.
And Mourinho, speaking ahead of United’s game with Stoke City on Saturday, was quick to highlight the positive influence brought by Fellaini this month.
"He's been very important for us in recent matches," says the boss on Marouane Fellaini. "He's contributing very well & can be very useful." pic.twitter.com/IsLhDQVWab
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 20, 2017
Many managers would have cast Fellaini into complete anonymity following his mistake against Everton – a foible that reinforced the widely accepted notion that, actually, the Belgian is nowhere near United standard.
Louis van Gaal, for example, never handed Guillermo Varela – who produced a number of solid performances at right back last season – another chance to impress following a poor 45 minutes against Liverpool back in March, leading to question marks surrounding whether the Uruguayan will ever get the chance to play at Old Trafford again.
Mourinho, on the other hand, adopted a completely different approach with Fellaini, choosing instead to publicly support the Belgian, who has paid back the manager’s faith with a number of robust performances.