Former Arsenal star Ray Parlour has questioned Michael Carrick’s decision to include Manchester United outcast Phil Jones in the travelling party ahead of tonight’s crucial Champions League clash against Villarreal.
Carrick has been appointed as interim manager in the wake of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking and will look to get his side’s season back on track in the wake of Saturday’s humiliating 4-1 defeat at Watford.
The former United midfielder has little option but to persist with out of sort club captain Harry Maguire at the centre of his defence given the lack of options available to him.
Maguire, who was sent-off at Vicarage Road, will be available for tonight’s pivotal Champions League clash, unlike Jones who hasn’t played a first team game for United in approaching two years.
The 29-year-old hasn’t been included in United’s European squad but still made the trip to Spain with his teammates, much to Parlour’s bewilderment.
‘Do you know what, I forgot Phil Jones was even there,’ Parlour told talkSPORT when informed the former England international had made the trip.
‘What’s he got to do, carry the bag or something? He’s not in the squad so what’s the point of taking him? Is it just for training, I don’t know? He can’t be sub or play can he?’
United need a positive result in Spain to keep qualification for the last-16 in their own hands but Carrick says he’s only focused on that game and is not thinking about succeeding Solskjaer in the long-term.
‘Well I think first and foremost it’s been literally a day, just over 24 hours, since everything unfolded and the game is not much further away in terms of time,’ said Carrick.
‘So that is all I’ve been thinking about, the game tomorrow night – throughout yesterday, throughout today and certainly throughout tomorrow.
‘I’ve not looked past that, but of course we’ve got a game coming up after, big game on the weekend, but we’ll address that when we need to. And however long the club want me to be here, I’ll give it my best.
‘Whatever results we get, hopefully we get good ones, we’ll be trying our utmost to get good ones, we should get good ones, we believe that we should get good results, and we’ll wait and see what happens after.’
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