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Carrick is determined to sign off on a high

 

By Simon Peach

Michael Carrick is "desperate" to end the season - and perhaps his Manchester United career - with Europa League glory.

Last week's 1-0 win in Spain puts Jose Mourinho's men in the driving seat heading into the second leg of their semi-final against Celta Vigo at Old Trafford.

Carrick tasted continental success as part of United's triumphant Champions League side in 2008 and now has the Europa League in his cross hairs.

"I'm personally desperate to get to the final and to try and win it," said the 35-year-old, whose United contract expires this summer. "That's the only thing that matters. Whatever competition you're in, especially at this club, with the team we've got, we're looking to win it. It's a great opportunity.

"We'll respect who is left in the competition - it's not going to be easy and we're not taking anything for granted at all - but that's got to be the aim.

"There's nothing else that matters."

Carrick cannot wait to step out at Old Trafford - a stadium "made for big games" - tonight.

The experienced midfielder fondly recalled home Champions League wins against Barcelona and Roma and clearly believes that United will soon be back at Europe's top table under Mourinho.

While United have struggled in the Premier League this term, the Portuguese could end his first season in the hotseat with a third trophy.

"He's a winner," Carrick said. "He's won everywhere he's been, so that's almost enough.

"He's certainly got the respect of the players and everyone in football because he's been so successful.

"However he's done that, you've got to look and learn from it. He's like us - we all want to win and we all want to lift trophies."

Put to the midfielder there is a sense of better things to come under Mourinho, he added: "Yes. He's leading it, he's the manager, he's guiding us through and guiding the club through. There have been a lot of positive things to take from this season: the consistency of the team, the general performance.

"There's real confidence approaching the end of the season and looking ahead to next season."

Meanwhile, United have unveiled a new black away kit for the 2017-2018 season.

The design is inspired by the strip which the club had in the early 1990s, when Ryan Giggs made his debut, and wore in the 1992 League Cup final against Nottingham Forest. It is a mix of dark grey, black and white and has a crew-neck collar.

The three adidas stripes, club badge and logo are all in white. It will be worn by Mourinho's side for the first time during their pre-season tour.

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