Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has urged the club's supporters to back Marouane Fellaini and described the Belgium international as a key member of his squad.

Fellaini, 28, is in his fourth season at Old Trafford but has not always been well liked by the United faithful.

He was most recently booed by United supporters after his slack back pass led to Jamie Vardy's goal in the Community Shield against Leicester City.

But the midfielder redeemed himself with an assured display in the 3-1 win against Bournemouth on 14 August – in which he had a pass completion rate of 98.7% – and Mourinho said the Belgian was central to his plans this season.

"With Fellaini I always have the feeling that he was not loved by the general Red people," the Red Devils manager told MUTV.

"But, if he plays like he's playing now, they have to love him because he's being so important for us."

Marouane Fellaini
Marouane Fellaini played the full 90 minutes of Manchester United's 3-1 win at Bournemouth Getty Images

Fellaini said he was pleased with the result against Bournemouth and that he and his teammates were desperate to prove that "Man United are back".

"It was a tough game for both sides. Bournemouth played well in the first half. In the second half we kept the ball better and created more chances and more possibilities for ourselves. We took those chances and got the win which was good for us," the 28-year-old said.

"I hope we will see more goals this season but we have to keep working and keep improving every game and every session. The manager is helping bring this feeling of aggression and character that we need to win games which is very important.

"We have to improve every game if we want to do something well this season and we want to prove to everyone that Man United are back."

United play their first home match of the season against Southampton on 19 August.