Carrick: I want to play in midfield

by Richard Laverty

Michael Carrick wants to return to his role as midfielder at Manchester United but admits he is happy to step in to the defence is needs be.

Carrick was ruled out of the first few months of the season through injury and returned in the Manchester derby as a centre-back when Chris Smalling was sent off.

Since then, the 33-year-old has made sporadic appearances in midfield but further injuries have seen him step back into defence. Smalling was once again the reason Carrick had to shuffle into defence against Southampton he went off injured.

Although Carrick is the kind of person who will play anywhere if asked, the England international does not want his defensive role to become permanent.

“You have to adapt because that’s just how things have gone in recent weeks,” Carrick told Inside United.

“Maybe when the injuries settle down and we have more of a settled squad then it will be more consistent in terms of positioning.

“But you have to be ready to deal with injuries. It’s happened a few times this season and, the more it does, the easier it gets.”

Carrick was once again part of a back three against Liverpool due to the absence of Smalling and Marcos Rojo but could return to the midfield this weekend with Rojo expected to return from his latest setback.

“I class myself as a midfielder and probably always will. I might have spells at centre-back, as I have over the last few years, but I’ve played for that long in midfield that I can’t class myself as anything other than a midfielder.”

Despite the competition for places in the middle of the park at United right now, Louis van Gaal would be brave to drop Carrick given United have won all six games Carrick has started since his return.

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