Michael Carrick is making smooth transition to coaching role - Chris Smalling
Michael Carrick has the respect of the Manchester United dressing room to make a smooth transition to Jose Mourinho's coaching staff, according to Chris Smalling.
Carrick is set to retire at the end of the season and join Mourinho's backroom team.
He has not played for United since February but has been on the bench alongside Mourinho and assistant Rui Faria.
Smalling saw former teammate Ryan Giggs make the same move in 2014.
The defender has backed Carrick to play an important role when he hangs up his boots.
"Obviously, it was not too dissimilar to what Ryan Giggs did," Smalling told ESPN FC.
"With Michael I think it doesn't feel too weird that he's going into the coaching because he is such our figurehead of the team.
"I mean, our team is getting younger and younger, but Michael is the standout leader of our team."
After the 3-2 derby win over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium, Ander Herrera revealed that Carrick, who was not involved in the squad, had spoken to the players at half-time before the second-half turnaround.
The 36-year-old was also seen in discussions with Faria on the touchline during the 2-1 win over Tottenham in the FA Cup semifinal at Wembley on Saturday.
Smalling added: "To see him stay with us and go into the coaching I think feels quite nice for all of us players, that there is a familiar face going into the coaching and someone we already looked up to massively anyway."
Rob is ESPN FC's Manchester United correspondent. Follow him on Twitter @RobDawsonESPN.