Michael Carrick has insisted he was simply spoilt for choice after dropping Bruno Fernandes for Manchester United’s Champions League showdown with Villarreal.
United’s caretaker manager made four changes to the side that was humiliated against Watford at the weekend with Donny van de Beek’s inclusion the headline ahead of kick-off.
Fernandes, along with Marcus Rashford and Luke Shaw, was named among the subs for tonight’s clash in Spain.
While Carrick admitted none of his players ‘have been at their best’, he defended his decision to drop the Portuguese international and suggested he will have a role to play later on off the bench.
‘They are both fantastic players, that’s the beauty of having the squad we have,’ Carrick told BT Sport when asked about van de Beek coming in for Fernandes.
‘I have only been here 48 hours, there are decisions to be made but I was spoiled for choice. It is as simple as that.
‘Five subs is a lot of substitutes in the Champions League and there will be a lot of players who play a big part tonight. Just because players are on the bench it doesn’t mean they are not important at all.’
When asked if Fernandes’ omission was down to fatigue or poor form, he added: ‘Not one of the players have been at their best, there is no hiding from that.
‘But there is a team to be picked. I love Bruno, he is a fantastic player, he ran his socks off on Saturday.
‘But it’s the job to pick the team and that is the team I picked. But that doesn’t mean Bruno isn’t important by any stretch.’
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