Manchester United icon backs Carrick for key role under Van Gaal

Former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke believes Michael Carrick is set to play a pivotal role for manager Louis van Gaal in the bid for a Champions League spot.

Manchester United icon Dwight Yorke believes his former club can earn a Champions League spot despite their current defensive crisis, and says the return of Michael Carrick will prove a major boost to Louis van Gaal’s side.

Carrick made his first appearance of the season in Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Manchester City after recovering from damaged ankle ligaments, coming off the bench to replace the injured Marcos Rojo, who is set to be out for some time with a dislocated shoulder.

With Johnny Evans and Phil Jones also currently sidelined, and Chris Smalling suspended for Saturday’s game against Crystal Palace, the 33-year-old looks set to feature at centre-back in the coming weeks, but Yorke believes his quality will see him carve out a place for himself in his regular midfield role in due time.

‘He’s got the knowhow. He’s got that star quality of finding the passes,’ he told Sky Sports News HQ. ‘Of course, when you’ve been injured that long, coming back into a new formation, with a new manager and new ideas isn’t easy.

‘’But I’m sure with his quality he’s always going to be involved. We know with the injuries at the back he’s an option to play centre-half, but Johnny Evans and Phil Jones should be fit soon so I’m sure that the formation will sort itself out.

‘Manchester United have the quality to go on an unbeaten run of 10 to 12 games, and that’s the kind of thing they need to do to really stay in contention for the Champions League this year,' he added.

‘It’s good that the players look like they believe in their manager. They’ve got a good set of games now so with the players coming back to sure up the defence, and their quality in attack, I can see them going on a very good run.’

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