Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Carrick issues Man Utd warning

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has warned his teammates not to relax during the busy festive period.
United are currently top of the Premier League - two points clear of Arsenal with a game in hand over the Gunners.
The Red Devils are traditionally slow starters and this season has been no different - with a slew of drawn games seeing them fall behind Chelsea at various points in the past few months.
However, a consistent run coinciding with Chelsea's dip in form has seen them top the charts prior to the all-important Christmas-New Year fixtures. Speaking to Manchester United's official website, Carrick admitted the team had been frustrated with early results.

"You hope that spell is behind us," he said.
"It's never far away though if you start to take your foot off the pedal. A couple of bad performances and bad results aren't far behind. That's what keeps you going and keeps you on your toes.
"You've got to keep the standards high, and that's been the strength of this club over the years, maintaining that quality. It was a frustrating time earlier on in the season when we felt we were throwing away some games when we were in front.
"Now, we look back and it seems as though we've had a good run under the circumstances having not lost a game yet, and we're satisfied with the position we're in.
"It's funny how things can change in this league, but we're not getting carried away. We'll assess it again after the Christmas period and see what position we're in then. Hopefully it's a good one."
If history is any indicator, United are poised to go on an excellent run of form. Sir Alex Ferguson's men have been known to really hit their stride sometime around the midway point of the season - a phenomenon that Carrick was unable to explain.
"It's difficult to put your finger on," he said.
"I think after Christmas you've got your eyes on the finish line, and that just brings everyone together with the same aim. It could also be that this is when the big league games and the cup games come around, and it lifts us.
"Every game seems to be more important, and when the business end of the season comes around the big games are the ones that count. We seem to relish it. But I don't think there's a formula for it, it just happens at United."
United play Sunderland at home on Boxing Day and assuming they beat the Black Cats, will see at least one of Chelsea and Arsenal fall further behind a day later.
The two London sides meet each other on Monday.

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