Carrick raring to go
Michael Carrick is eager to atone for a desperately disappointing 12 months.
Carrick is in line to face Newcastle in Manchester United's delayed opening game on Monday night knowing the pressure is on at Old Trafford following the loss of their Premier League title to Chelsea. In addition, the 29-year-old failed to make it onto the pitch during the World Cup as he became an unused member of Fabio Capello's failing squad.
"Last season was disappointing and I ended up having a hard summer," he admitted. "But this is my fifth season and during that time I have gained a lot of experience. I am more determined than ever. When you don't get what you want, it hurts. You want it again badly."
He added: "I am hungry for success, just as I was when I first came here."
As usual, Sir Alex Ferguson has plenty of choice, with Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen, Dimitar Berbatov and in-form new recruit Javier Hernandez all vying for a striking berth.
Carrick faces competition from Paul Scholes, Darren Fletcher and rising stars Darron Gibson and Tom Cleverley for the central midfield slots this term.
It now seems likely he will remain at United after being linked with various moves away from the club this summer, and will be especially keen to get a win on Monday evening.
Hailing from Wallsend, a meeting with Newcastle is always a stand-out day for Carrick, even though he has never played for the St James' Park outfit in a career that has taken him to Old Trafford via West Ham and Tottenham.
"Newcastle will be flying," said Carrick. "They are back in the Premier League and what better place to start than Old Trafford."