Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho reveals Michael Carrick regret, promises staff changes

MANCHESTER, England -- Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has admitted he wished he could have coached Michael Carrick earlier in his career after the midfielder hung up his boots on Sunday.

Carrick made his 464th appearance for United in the 1-0 win over Watford at Old Trafford, marking the occasion by helping to set up Marcus Rashford's goal.

He will join Mourinho's coaching staff this summer with the Portuguese boss insisting his only regret is not being able to play the 36-year-old more often in their two years together.

Mourinho told a news conference: "It is difficult because for me these two seasons I got him in the last period of his career when it was difficult for him to play consecutive matches at higher intensity; never a big injury thankfully, but little problems were coming now and again and when he was ready for more, a little problem was coming.

"So there was a period where he was so, so important but he couldn't have the continuity of the fantastic player he was for the club."

It was also United assistant manager Rui Faria's final game at Old Trafford after the club's announcement on Saturday that he would step down at the end of the season.

Mourinho insists Carrick will not immediately step into the role but hinted he could make another addition to his coaching team.

He said: "I will organise my coaching staff in a way where the assistant manager figure doesn't exist.

"I am going to have assistant coaches, I am going to have fitness coaches and a structure where they have specialists in different areas connected to the performance.

"I don't think it makes sense when Rui is leaving after 17 years. I have nobody in the world of football ready to be my assistant manager, so I prefer to educate people, to structure my staff in a way where there is education and improvement and when Michael has the pro license badges, normally, with the personality, friendship and honesty he has, I think it will be for him.

"But I am going to improve my staff in the performance level and in relation to the tactical work. I am going to bring some people that until this moment have not come with me yet."

Carrick was given a standing ovation when he was substituted in the 85th minute and came back out onto the pitch after the final whistle to address the fans who had stayed behind.

He said: "On behalf of the players and staff, thank you for your support.

"We've had ups and downs this season but we have finished second and we thank you very much.

"On behalf of myself, a massive thank you to everyone for your support.

"I've got some unbelievable memories to cherish.

"This is an amazing place to play football and it's the greatest club in the world. Thank you for your support over the last 12 years."