Belfast Telegraph

Carrick insists his team-mates are Gunner show how much they care

By Sam Wallace

Michael Carrick has launched a staunch defence of the Manchester United players' attitudes, claiming that the defending champions "care" as much as the supporters about their desolate run of form, in the aftermath of yet another bad result against Fulham at Old Trafford on Sunday.

Carrick scored United's second goal to give them the lead on Sunday before losing out to Steven Sidwell in the build-up to Darren Bent's added-time equaliser.

The United midfielder said that David Moyes' squad still believed they could turn around their worst position in February since 1989-90 against Arsenal at the Emirates tomorrow.

Asked whether the reaction to his goal showed that the players still cared, Carrick said: "Of course the players care. It is the pride we have in ourselves and each other.

"No-one wants to go through a spell when people are questioning you and things are going wrong. But we have had enough success over the years that we retain a belief in ourselves even when things are not going so well.

"We keep trying to do the right things, which we did (against Fulham), and in the end, you think it will pay off for you. We thought it had but it wasn't to be. It isn't for the want of trying. It is not a case of not caring. We care just as much, if not more, than anybody else."

He added: "We thought it was going to turn. We have thought that all season. We still believe it will. We still believe results will come for us. It seems like setback after setback at the moment. We will pick ourselves up. We have a big game (against Arsenal) now. The only way to deal with it is to move on. There are a lot of positives to take from the (Fulham) game, it is just tough to explain how we have not won it.

"We have had success over the years. It comes easy when you have success. You have to deal with the down times as well.

"You have to respect both and deal with them. It has been a tough season and we are not in a very good position in the league. We keep saying we need to go on a run.

"Performance-wise it is a tough one to take when you play okay and create enough chances to win three or four games and we have still drawn again at home. We will pick ourselves up."

The result just heaps even more pressure on boss Moyes, who has been consistently backed by the United hierarchy.

With even a place in next season's Champions League appearing a remote possibility, United may use their looming mini-break in Dubai to reshape their plans for the remainder of the campaign.

Before that though, they have a trip to Arsenal to negotiate tomorrow night.

"We'll be ready (for Arsenal)," said Carrick. "It's one of those seasons - setback after setback. We have to believe that with performances, things are going to change.

"There's no better place to do that than on Wednesday night at Arsenal.

"We still believe we can go there and get the result we want."

United broke the Premier League record for the number of crosses from a team during a game, which stretches back to 2006.

The Fulham defender Dan Burn, playing just his seventh game for the team, said that he had not "headed that many balls since I played in the Conference", later clarifying that he had not meant any insult to United.

The former United midfielder Ryan Tunnicliffe, sold to Fulham last month, added: "We watched on videos the teams that have come here and got good results and the way they've played. We know United have not been at their best this season."

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