Manchester United manager Louis can Gaal has revealed his thinking behind awarding Bastian Schweinsteiger his first start in a red shirt.
Schweinsteiger was then substituted for Carrick on the hour mark. It was a direct reversal of the roles the pair have played so far this season, with the German captain coming on for Carrick in Man United’s opening three games this season.
However, Van Gaal explained his decision, admitting that Schweinsteiger still needs to build up his match fitness.
Speaking after the Newcastle game, Van Gaal said: “I’ve said already in advance that he [Bastian] should play 60 minutes. In the other matches, Michael Carrick played 60 minutes and now it was the other way around. I need to build up both.”
The manager also touched on his management of the players and how he intends to avoid another injury plagued season.
He added: “Michael Carrick last year was injured for a lot of matches and now he’s not and that’s a big benefit for the team. It’s the same for Bastian.”
Carrick performed admirably in the last half hour for United, providing some much needed impetus for the Reds.
It is now a question of which midfielder Van Gaal wants to start on a regular basis for his side, as both have impressed in the early stages of the season.
Carrick and Schweinsteiger are 34 and 31 respectively and the manager’s usage of the players is crucial. He will hope that both can play enough to keep up their fitness and get a good run in the side, while also avoiding any injuries for two of the more senior players in the squad.