Lukaku is the only United player that is untouchable to fans - Mourinho

- Lukaku is the only United player that is untouchable to fans - Mourinho.

- Fans are free to crticise any Man Utd player apart from Lukaku.

- Playing football for a striker isn't just about scoring goals - Mourinho.
Jose Mourinho has launched a staggering defence of his £75 million striker Romelu Lukaku following the player's failure to find the back of
the net in his last five games for Manchester United.

Mourinho praised the player's work ethic and overall contributions so far and stated while fans are free to criticise any other player in his squad, Lukaku should be untouchable.

He told a news conference on Monday: "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.

Mourinho however acknowledged that fans are free to do anything they desire as they pay for their tickets.

"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."

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