Jose Mourinho has told Michael Carrick that his time will come despite the Manchester United captain's lack of playing time so far this season.
Carrick signed a one-year contract extension in May but, despite that show of faith by United, the 36-year-old midfielder is yet to play a minute of football this term.
When asked what role Carrick still had to play at United, Mourinho compared his captain's situation to those of other members of his squad whose playing time has been limited.
"Sergio Romero played the Europa League final which was the game of the season for us and he's not playing. Ander Herrera was the player of the season and he is not starting matches. That's life in big clubs.
"We gave (Carrick) a contract because we think he is a good player. We think he is an important player. He is just in a team where, in this moment, (Nemanja) Matic and (Marouane) Fellaini are in the best form that I've ever seen them.
"He's in a team with these two guys playing absolutely phenomenal so, for Carrick and for Ander, it's just patience. Their time will arrive and they're going to be important players for sure. That's the team, that's the squad."
Carrick could feature tonight when United begin their defence of the League Cup against Burton Albion at Old Trafford, with Mourinho planning to rest David de Gea, Antonio Valencia, Eric Bailly and Matic.
The United manager intends to rest players again if his side progresses past Nigel Clough's Burton but he insists that he is taking the competition seriously, seven months after beating Southampton 3-2 at Wembley in last year's final.
"I gave two days off to four players. Apart from that, everybody is selected," he said.
"I know the quality of the Championship and if we don't take the game seriously, we are going to lose."
Burton Albion manager Nigel Clough reckons that tonight's match will increase their season budget by up to 20pc.
Under the regulations of the competition, Burton will receive 45pc of the gate receipts taken at the 75,000-capacity stadium for the tie.
United expect an attendance of about 60,000, which would net £2.5m (€2.8m) for Burton, who are also due £10,000 (€11,300) in prize money for reaching the third round.
"It's a big boost for us financially. We've got things to do with the ground and things to do with the team in January and it just takes a bit of pressure off us financially," said Clough.