Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Manchester United want to win points, not admirers

Michael Carrick does not want Manchester United to carry on grinding out results — but he accepts winning the Barclays Premier League title is all they really care about.

United have managed to get themselves in a pretty positive position at the top of the table even though they have rarely been at their destructive best this term.

Ahead of local rivals Manchester City on goal difference, Sir Alex Ferguson's side also have two games in hand — and remain unbeaten.

Yet Sunday's draw at Tottenham epitomised their season. Obdurate defensively, they left White Hart Lane with a precious point despite doing little to threaten Heurelho Gomes' goal and having Rafael sent off.

“Of course we want to be playing at our best because we feel it gives us the best chance of winning games,” said Carrick.

“You don't want to struggle through every game and have to rely on individual magic to win. We want to be playing well on a consistent basis.

“But it does boil down to finishing on top. That is what we are striving for.”

Points secured against the odds at Sunderland, Aston Villa and West Brom this term may turn out to be vital in the final standings.

“We know ourselves when we haven't played great,” said Carrick. “But there is a determination within the squad.

“When you are not playing well it is a case of finding a way to win. We've been quite good at that over the years and it can be vital.

“If you get three or four games like that over the course of a season those points really count come the end of it.”

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