Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is confident Michael Carrick will be able to seamlessly come into his team when called upon.
Carrick, 35, was handed a one-year contract extension in one of Mourinho's first pieces of business following his appointment at the club in May. The former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder has started just two games this season, however: the Community Shield victory over Leicester City and the EFL Cup third-round clash with Northampton Town.
Despite this, Mourinho is confident his veteran midfielder can make a telling contribution when he is needed, as Ashley Young did in his first starting appearance of the season against Liverpool on Monday (17 October).
The 31-year-old was a surprise inclusion in United's starting XI at Anfield, but provided a solid performance for his side on the left-hand side of attack in the goalless draw.
While it was Ander Herrera who won the man of the match award, Mourinho was pleased with Young's impact and hopes Carrick can replicate it when it is his turn to come into the starting XI.
"With me, he feels all of that plus the confidence so I am really happy for him. But I am probably more happy with the Ashley Young situation because to perform like he did [at Anfield] is only possible because he is phenomenal in the way he trains," Mourinho told United's official website.
"If you don't play, you don't have much fitness. If you don't train to the top, you are not ready to play. It's the same with Michael Carrick. The day I need to play Carrick, I am sure he is going to answer because they train really well."
Mourinho described Carrick as an "invaluable" asset to his team after his new contract was confirmed in early June.