Michael Carrick is keen to make a swift return to his regular midfield role with Manchester United.
Carrick has been filling in at centre-back for Louis van Gaal because of injuries to United defenders in recent weeks, and has proved a hit in his new-found role.
With Marcos Rojo and Chris Smalling both still injured, Van Gaal may choose to keep Carrick in defence for Saturday’s visit to Aston Villa.
Although Carrick is happy to adapt to the needs of the team and play where required, the 33-year-old England star does not want his defensive role to become permanent.
“You have to adapt because that’s just how things have gone in recent weeks,” said Carrick.
“Maybe when the injuries settle down and we have more of a settled squad then it will be more consistent in terms of positioning.
“But you have to be ready to deal with injuries. It’s happened a few times this season and, the more it does, the easier it gets.
“I class myself as a midfielder and probably always will. I might have spells at centre-back, as I have over the last few years, but I’ve played for that long in midfield that I can’t class myself as anything other than a midfielder.”
Carrick is making up for lost time after missing the first three months of the season after undergoing ankle surgery in July, when Van Gaal took over at United. Since Carrick made his comeback, United have won six games on the spin, with many crediting his return to the starting line-up as a key factor in the winning run.
“I feel good and I feel fresh,” said Carrick. “Obviously I missed a lot of football at the start of the season, but I’m enjoying it.
“When you’re out for so long you really miss it, so I am just happy to be back playing and looking forward to the games ahead. You just try to play your own game.
“When you’re out for so long, you do think about how your return will go and it’s hard to judge where you’re at in terms of fitness and match sharpness, but things have gone alright.”
Carrick believes United, currently third in the Premier League, eight points behind leaders Chelsea, are moving in the right direction under Van Gaal and are only going to get better.
“I’m enjoying it and I don’t think you can ever stop learning,” Carrick told United Review. “You’re always picking up new ideas and new ways of playing.