September 20, 2017 / 5:58 AM / 10 months ago

Patience will pay off, Mourinho tells midfield duo

(Reuters) - Michael Carrick and Ander Herrera have hardly featured in Manchester United’s early Premier League campaign but manager Jose Mourinho has assured the duo they are vital to his plans.

Football Soccer - Manchester United v Everton - Barclays Premier League - Old Trafford - 3/4/16 Manchester United's Ander Herrera comes on as a substitute for Michael Carrick Action Images via Reuters / Jason Cairnduff Livepic

Club captain Carrick is yet to get a game this term while United’s player of the year last season Herrera has made just one league start in five games.

Mourinho has opted for both Nemanja Matic and Marouane Fellaini ahead of the pair but he said Carrick and Herrera would get their chance.

“For Carrick and for Ander, it’s just patience because their time will arrive,” Mourinho told the club’s website (

Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United vs Everton - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - September 17, 2017 Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho at half time REUTERS/Andrew Yates

“They are going to be important players for us, for sure. That’s the team, that’s the squad. We cannot play with (only) 11 guys,” the manager added.

Matic, who signed from Mourinho’s former club Chelsea in the close season, has made an immediate impact and was named man of the match in 4-0 wins over West Ham United and Everton while Fellaini has played well as a starter or off the bench.

Mourinho said his players must come to terms with squad rotation.

“Sergio Romero played the Europa League final, which was the game of the season for us, and he is not playing now. Herrera was player of the season and he is not starting matches. You know, that’s life at big clubs,” he said.

“We gave Michael Carrick a contract because he’s an important player. He’s just in a team where Matic and Fellaini are in the best form that I have ever seen them.”

With Paul Pogba nursing a hamstring injury and Mourinho set to give Matic a rest, Carrick and Herrera could be given their chance in the League Cup game against Burton Albion later on Wednesday.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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