Dwight Yorke has told Man Utd duo Fred and Scott McTominay that it is time to “stand up” and “earn their money” over the next few weeks.
The Red Devils will be without Casemiro for the next three matches after the Brazilian was sent off in their 2-1 victory over Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Man Utd have decided against appealing the decision and Casemiro will now miss back-to-back Premier League matches against Leeds United and another versus Leicester City.
And Yorke has called on Fred and McTominay – who have been criticised on numerous occasions in the past – to grasp “their moment” as Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag “needs” them.
“It’s harsh on his [Casemiro’s] teammates, because we all know what he brings to the table, and they’re a much better side with him involved,” Yorke told Ladbrokes.
“It’ll be a massive loss for them, but this is where the top teams are tested; you need players to come in and do the job while he’s out.
“For the likes of Scott McTominay and Fred, their job right now is simple: they’ve got to stand up now, and earn their money. You’ve got to come in when the team needs you.
“Erik ten Hag needs to pull those players aside and just stress how much he needs them in Casemiro’s absence. That’s where you get team unity, when the boys sitting on the bench can come in and do a job. Help the team.
“These fringe players have to stand up… it’s why you have such big squads. You can’t rely on one player all season. There has to be depth in quality, otherwise what are you getting paid for?
“I hope the players recognise that, and I hope Ten Hag can trust his players. This is their moment. He needs them now.”
And Yorke is urging Man Utd not to “make a thing” of Casemiro missing three matches as it could come back to bite them.
The former Man Utd striker added: “Yes, he’s been instrumental for the team, but there was so much made of the fact he’d miss the game, but the team as a whole were on such a great run at the time, they should have focused on that as a positive heading into the match.
“So much is made around the alternative options not that Casemiro has been banned again, but I think back to my time at United and it didn’t matter if one of our superstars was out; there were top quality players ready and waiting on the bench to come in and do a job.
“People go on about Casemiro and how important he’s been, but Roy Keane didn’t play every game in a season, did he? And we had enough depth to not have to worry if he was unavailable; it didn’t become a huge talking point.
“The more you make a thing of it, the more of a burden you’re putting on your team. He’s a massive player and he’ll be hugely missed, of course. But you’ve got to get on with it.”