Jose Mourinho has defended his decision not to play Michael Carrick regularly but said he would love the veteran midfielder to be involved more often.
Carrick, 35, made his first Premier League start of the season in the 3-1 win against Swansea and was singled out for praise by a number of people including United legend Peter Schmeichel.
But Mourinho argued that Carrick’s age means he is unable to play as much as he once did.
“I would love to play him every game but that is not possible.” Mourinho said after Sunday’s game.
“Why? For the same reason that I cannot go to the gym every day anymore! He started today and he played very, very well.”
Mourinho also praised Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s work-rate during the victory and added that his two goals were a bonus.
“He is not a player who lacks confidence,” Mourinho said. “I used to say that a striker who doesn’t score goals and does nothing else is one player less.
“But a striker that doesn’t score goals but does everything else is a very important player for the team. He wasn’t scoring goals but he was doing everything else.
“He was working defensively, in the build-up and the second phase of the attack, he was giving assists and contributing towards the goalkeeper that was playing against us always being the man of the match.
“He was doing so many things that I wasn’t worried but today we needed goals and he got them.”