Michael Carrick has told Manchester United's fringe players to be patient this season as they look to break into Jose Mourinho's first team.
United's new club captain was left out of the squad for Sunday's 4-0 home win over West Ham United.
He watched United's opening Premier League game of the season from the Old Trafford directors' box along with new £31 million defender Victor Lindelof and youngsters Andreas Pereira and Axel Tuanzebe.
Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo and Ashley Young are on their way back from injuries while there is a chance Zlatan Ibrahimovic could return for the second half of the season.
Carrick has been in the situation before and last term had to wait until Nov. 6 to start his first league game. But he still ended the season having made 38 appearances in all competitions.
He said: "We've got a great squad. It's a long season and there will be a lot of games. Hopefully we can go far in the cup competitions.
"There will be a lot of games, just like last year, and there is going to be a lot of rotation of the squad. It's good.
"It's a great start for us. We're not getting carried away. It's just one game but it's a good start and we're looking forward to the games ahead."
In Carrick's absence, Antonio Valencia led the team out against West Ham.
The 36-year-old is still waiting for a chance to wear the armband in a competitive game since being officially announced as Wayne Rooney's successor following his return to Everton in the summer.
Carrick has been in the job for nearly three months but he insists it has not changed his role in the dressing room.
He said: "It's a big honour for me, it's very special to be in the position I am. It probably comes with me being here for quite some time now and being the oldest in the squad. It doesn't really change an awful lot from day-to-day.
"It's nice to be in the position. There's obviously more responsibility but I think that's a natural thing. You've got to try to lead in certain ways but I'm just trying to be myself.
"You can't suddenly change because you're put in a different role. You've just got to be yourself and respect all the lads like I do.
"It's a tremendous feeling. It's hard to explain that feeling. It's a tough one to explain but it's a very nice feeling to have."