Jose Mourinho has expressed his ‘disappointment’ at some Manchester United fans reactions to Romelu Lukaku during the teams 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford on Saturday.
The United manager has told fans that while they are free to express their disappointment with certain players, Romelu Lukaku should be “untouchable” from fans criticism.
Speaking to a news conference on Monday, the Portuguese said: “The fans are the fans and I also said that the fans pay for their tickets and are free to express themselves and say they want to express, but my job is when I feel they deserve is to protect my players.
“I think Romelu is one of the players that should be untouchable in terms of the respect of everyone.
“It’s not one goal or the ball goes against the post or save by the opposition keeper that can make Romelu’s contribution below the top level.
“He is playing extremely well for us and yes, I have to protect my players when I feel they deserve it and Romelu always deserves it because what he does for the team is fantastic.
“Playing football for a striker isn’t just about scoring goals. So for me [he is] untouchable in my team and I think he should be untouchable in support from the fans.
“But fans are fans, they pay the ticket and do what they want. As a manager I feel duty to protect my players when I feel they deserve it.”
It comes after the Belgium forward drew his fifth blank in a row and was subjected to groans from the crowd.
The fans also booed Mourinho for his decision to substitute Marcus Rashford for Anthony Martial. Lukaku then provided a flick-on that allowed Martial to score the only goal of the match in the 81st minute.