Carrick ready to step into defence for Man Utd

Michael Carrick has said he will happily play at centre-back for Manchester United for however long is needed after Louis van Gaal was robbed of more defenders due to injury and suspension, ESPN has reported.

Carrick made his first appearance of the season in Sunday’s Manchester derby defeat to Manchester City, coming off the bench and filling in at centre-back to account for Chris Smalling’s first-half red card. Argentina international Marcos Rojo later had to be withdrawn with a dislocated shoulder and is expected to be out for a while, with Carrick saying he will do his best to fill the void.

“It’s obviously not somewhere I have played a lot,” he said. “Over the years I have had spells there, but I am just whatever needs be. If I need to play there then fine. I have not had enough football recently so I will play anywhere.

“We have different options and different formations. We have a lot of variety. Now we just need to get players fit so we have more options to choose from. I will play anywhere, I don’t mind.”

Van Gaal is also without Jonny Evans due to an ankle problem and Phil Jones, who has shin splints, whereas Carrick has only just returned from injury himself. He partnered youngster Paddy McNair in defence after Rojo’s injury, with winger Antonio Valencia at right-back and Luke Shaw on the left of the defence.

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