Michael Carrick and Darren Fletcher

Carrick: Fletch has been a great help

Thursday 02 December 2021 07:00

Michael Carrick says technical director Darren Fletcher has proved a great help to him in his stint as caretaker manager of Manchester United.

Speaking ahead of Thursday night's Premier League fixture against Arsenal, the temporary boss also paid tribute to the club's backroom staff.

Carrick stepped up from his role as first-team coach after the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer less than a fortnight ago. The former midfielder has overseen an important victory in Spain against Villarreal and a draw against league leaders Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

With Ralf Rangnick confirmed as United's new interim manager, Carrick is to step back into his old role soon, but remains in charge for Thursday's game as Rangnick waits to complete the work visa process.


Every word from Carrick's press conference


Read our caretaker manager's media briefing in full ahead of Thursday's meeting with Arsenal.

Asked about Fletcher's role over the last week or so, Carrick said his old team-mate - the pair played in midfield together for many years at United - has been a key colleague.

"Obviously, we go way back," Carrick said.

"We fought many battles on the pitch together and get on really well. He’s been a big support. Of course, we’ve all changed roles to an extent this week, Fletch has been on the bench, kind of the role that I was doing previously. It’s worked very well.

"We think the same way, we’ve got similar kind of mentalities approaching the game. It’s worked really well."

The coaching staff has had very little time to get used to the new, temporary set-up, and it's required the hard work of all involved to get United through a difficult week with two good results.

Qualification for the Champions League knock-out rounds has been secured - with a game to spare in the group stages - while the draw at Chelsea came after a good defensive display.

From midfield partners to coaching duo...

Carrick was quick to give credit to the whole team behind the scenes.

"I have to say the rest of the backroom team, the coaches and the backroom team that people might not be aware of," he said.

"The support and the way they’ve stuck together this week has been incredible and I’m grateful for that.

"There’s different responsibilities [after becoming manager], certainly doing this [press conference] with you guys now is something new and something different.

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"As a manager, it changes your role a little bit, pulling yourself away from it to a certain extent.

"The coaches we’ve got here are fantastic anyway so I fully trust in them to step in when that’s needed."