MANCHESTER -- Jose Mourinho has said Manchester United fans have the right to boo him and his players.
Some sections of the Old Trafford crowd booed Mourinho's decision to replace Marcus Rashford with Anthony Martial after 70 minutes against Tottenham on Saturday.
Martial scored 11 minutes later to seal a 1-0 win, and after the match Mourinho was critical of what he saw as a lack of support for Romelu Lukaku, who went a fifth game without scoring.
But the manager said: "They pay [for] the ticket -- they can do what they want.
"They can boo a player that doesn't deserve to be booed, they can boo a player who is working like an animal, even though the game is not going in his direction.
"They can boo. They pay [for] their tickets, they can boo the manager."
Victory over Tottenham, courtesy of Martial's late goal, kept United five points behind neighbours Manchester City at the top of the Premier League.
It got them back on track after Mourinho had questioned their "motivation and character" after last weekend's defeat at Huddersfield.
Midfielder Nemanja Matic said: "We dropped points there and it was important for us to win again to show that we want to fight for the title, that we have quality. I am happy we did it."
The result against Mauricio Pochettino's team was United's first win of the season against another top six side, but Matic said it was too early to call it a statement in the title race.
"It's hard to say after 10 games that someone is going to be champion," he said.
"In two games everything can change. I think there are five or six teams who will challenge for the title, and if I say something now I will be wrong for sure.
"You have Manchester City, us, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham, so with five or six teams it is going to be a big fight until the end and we will see in May.
"This is only 10 games but I'm happy that we are now second position, that we are there. We have a chance, but we still have to improve."
After facing Benfica in the Champions League at Old Trafford on Tuesday, United travel to Mourinho's old club Chelsea on Sunday.
Paul Pogba is back training after recovering from a hamstring injury, but Mourinho is not confident that the France international will be available at Stamford Bridge.
"I have no idea, honestly," he said. "I am not in control of his recovery process. He is not training with me. He is on individual work, and when a player is on individual work I cannot predict.
"I would expect Marcos Rojo to return after the international break because he is training with me. But Paul, I have no idea."