Belfast Telegraph

Michael Carrick urges Manchester United to battle on

Michael Carrick has stressed Manchester United are "not giving anything up" despite the disappointment of Sunday's 1-1 draw at Chelsea.

United had looked set to chalk up a third straight win in all competitions before Diego Costa's late equaliser salvaged a point for the Blues at Stamford Bridge.

That result left the Red Devils six points behind fourth-placed Manchester City and 12 behind leaders Leicester in the Barclays Premier League, and t hey are out of the Champions League.

They are in Europa League and FA Cup action this month alongside the continued top-flight battle, though.

And United midfielder Carrick told "There is plenty to play for this month and of course plenty of points to play for in the league.

"We're not giving anything up just yet.

"I think it (Sunday) was a big day for us in terms of the league situation. If we'd have gone there and got a win we'd have been in good shape, but it wasn't to be and it makes things harder for us.

"It's hard to take, losing two points so late on. I know we were under pressure for the last 10 or 15 minutes but to lose a goal like that is disappointing and that's the overall feeling.

"I thought we played well and produced some really good football. We looked dangerous going forward and defended well for most of the game. We just didn't do the right things at the right time near the end and see the game out.

"We have to battle on though, keep going and play something like we have been doing over the last few weeks and then see where that takes us."

Two players who have particularly shone in United's recent improvement are forwards Anthony Martial and Wayne Rooney.

Martial, 20, is in his first season with the club and the France international has no doubt he is benefiting from working alongside Rooney, the 30-year-old captain who has been at United since 2004.

"It's always nice, it allows me to keep improving and also to feel more relaxed when playing alongside him," Martial told MUTV and Inside United.

"When you see someone like Rooney, you feel that bit more confident."

Meanwhile, United defender Chris Smalling insists the Old Trafford outfit are not worried about Pep Guardiola taking over as City boss in the summer.

Smalling told Sky Sports: "We don't care really, in that whoever is managing City, or coming and going, it doesn't really affect us.

"City are always going to have a top manager, as are we, so it doesn't affect us too much.

"It's good to see that the best players and the best coaches want to work in England, so I welcome that."

Smalling has also spoken positively about United boss Louis van Gaal's communication with his players, with the England international describing it as an "improving" relationship.

"He's got his way of working and his philosophy but what people don't see is the communication among the players," Smalling said.

"We have meetings about how we'll press a team or how we'll play a certain play, and he listens to the player's opinions so we can work together.

"So our working relationship is definitely improving."


From Belfast Telegraph