Carrick calls for United response
Michael Carrick has urged Manchester United to put back-to-back defeats behind them in Saturday's Premier League clash against struggling QPR.
- Related Content
16. Michael Carrick
Not since 2001 have Sir Alex Ferguson's men lost three successive games, and with victory required to put pressure on Chelsea and Manchester City, who meet in Rafael Benitez's managerial debut for the Blues on Sunday, the focus on United's problems is total.
"It is massively important for us to bounce back," said Carrick.
"We are normally very good at that and we will certainly be looking for it on Saturday."
Clearly the aim, still, is to stop conceding the first goal.
Ferguson has warned his players repeatedly the fault could come back to haunt them at a later stage.
Yet there has been no improvement.
United have now done it 12 times in 17 matches, a quite amazing statistic.
Neither Ferguson nor his players can offer any definitive reason for the obvious failing.
Carrick tends to agree with his boss that concentration is an issue.
Carrick has played his part, skippering United from central defence against Galatasaray on Tuesday.
It maintains the 31-year-old's impressive appearance statistics.
Indeed, Carrick has started every United Premier League game for over 12 months now, a record he is rather proud of.
"That is right," he said.
"It is not something I really focus on too much but someone mentioned it to me the other day.
"It is nice to know and is probably down to my form and consistency over the years.
"I want to play every week and it is nice when it comes off.
"Hopefully I can keep playing for the rest of the season."
The Manchester United star was once again pressed into service at the back in Turkey on Tuesday night when Sir Alex Ferguson opted to leave both Rio Ferdinand and Chris Smalling out of the Champions League defeat to Galatasaray.
From a United perspective, the game was notable for Phil Jones' first appearance of the season.
The 20-year-old did well alongside Carrick in the cauldron of the Turk Telecom Arena, and with Jonny Evans and skipper Nemanja Vidic also edging their way back from a groin problem and knee surgery respectively, Carrick might get a permanent return to the midfield role he prefers.
"I have played there three or four times this season," said Carrick.
"If there are injuries or whatever, part of playing for this club is to do what the manager wants.
"I don't have a problem with it. Ideally, I would like to play midfield because that is my position but if I've got to play at the back, then so be it."