Carrick always had faith United would hit back
Michael Carrick always trusted Manchester United would bounce back after their "shocking" start to the season.
United's win over Arsenal at Old Trafford on Sunday meant they went into the international break just five points adrift of the Gunners, who remain at the top of the Barclays Premier League.
It is a better position than seemed likely when they were losing at home to West Brom in the middle of September, a result that dropped them into the bottom half of the table.
Yet even in the depths of that third defeat in six games which had yielded just seven points, Carrick was never tempted to hit the panic button, in much the same way as he is not prepared to state United are back despite the confidence generated by a nine-match unbeaten run in all competitions.
"After a shocking start we are not in a bad position," said Carrick.
"We never really got too despondent. We were frustrated with our performances and results but you have to stay patient and trust yourself.
"We knew there was a long way to go and there still is."
United defender Phil Jones has suggested some people have been hoping for United to fail, having become jealous of their immense success under Sir Alex Ferguson.
However, Carrick does not view it in quite such graphic terms and he feels a portion of the criticism at least was deserved.
"You can take it as a compliment because of what we have done over the years," he said.
"When we are not at the top, because of our recent run in the league people are asking questions and criticising.
"In some ways it is fair. In others we take it with a pinch of salt. We have to deal with it from within."
Carrick has withdrawn from the England squad for their forthcoming friendly games with an Achilles injury. Although he seemed happy enough after Sunday's game, the 32-year-old was limping and there have been rumours he could be set for an extended period on the sidelines.
Danny Welbeck is also out of England reckoning as he struggles to overcome a knee problem that has kept him on the sidelines since October 19.
And Sunday's match-winner Robin van Persie will miss Holland's friendlies against Japan and Colombia in order to rest the toe and groin problems.