• Premier League

Carrick can tame City attack, says Moyes

ESPN staff
March 24, 2014
Michael Carrick filled in at centre-back for Manchester United against West Ham © Getty Images

David Moyes says he will have no concerns about asking Michael Carrick to fill in as an emergency centre-back against a prolific Manchester City attack on Tuesday.

Manchester United could be missing four specialist central defenders, as they were at West Ham on Saturday when midfielder Carrick acquitted himself well against Andy Carroll in the 2-0 win at Upton Park.

City are without Sergio Aguero due to a hamstring injury but head to Old Trafford on the back of thrashing Fulham 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium, having scored 76 goals in their 28 Premier League matches this season.

If Rio Ferdinand fails to recover from a back injury, Moyes will turn to either Carrick or left-back Patrice Evra to partner Phil Jones in the middle of his defence.

"He did great at centre-half and I would have no problems [playing him there against City]," said Moyes. "He has played there before so it wasn't a problem."

Moyes is evidently still trying to crack the code of where to play Marouane Fellaini, too, after admitting he thought about deploying the £27.5 million summer signing at centre-back instead of Carrick.

"We even considered putting [Marouane] Fellaini back there so we have people if we have to," Moyes added.

"We gave Pat Evra a rest and if we have to, we can put Pat there as well and he would cope manfully. It was great the squad mucked in."

United captain Nemanja Vidic is both injured and suspended while fellow centre-backs Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling are still sidelined.

But Moyes has been buoyed by United's performances at Upton Park and in the 3-0 Champions League win over Olympiakos last week.

"In the last couple of games they've really stepped up to the plate and have performed," Moyes added. "But I'm not surprised by that. That's what they are capable of. We have a good squad and good players. We maybe haven't played as well as we should. I do think we've got those capabilities in the squad."

However, United have an undistinguished record of only one win against the top nine sides in the Premier League so far this season.

Moyes added: "We want to try to perform better in the bigger games than we've done. It's important for us to show the level of what we've got and I think we have got the level and we're not as far away as many people would have us. I've got no doubt it will improve."

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