With most the Manchester United team falling short of our expectations over the past few weeks/months, Michael Carrick has certainly be one lacking form. It doesn’t appear to be a lack of effort, rather a lack of confidence, with the England midfielder spending too much time on the ball and looking reluctant to take control of the centre of the park.

Carrick admirably refuses to blame tiredness or pressure as reasons why we have been stuttering, but believes we can wipe the slate clean with a victory over Sunderland tomorrow.

“I don’t know if pressure is a factor,” said Carrick. “I have been through this each season I have been at the club. We expect to be successful. You become used to it. Fatigue is not an excuse either. We have a big squad with all the facilities we need so tiredness does not come into it. We want to play in every minute of every game and want to be involved in every trophy. We are not complaining about that. We just have to play well.”

Carrick has claimed tomorrow’s game against Sunderland will be a new start for the lads.

“It has been a strange time,” he added. “Obviously we have not helped ourselves because we are doing things that we have not done for so long. But we are going to put them right and I am sure we will start tomorrow. Then we can look back and see it as nothing more than a blip during a long season. At this stage it is all about winning games and picking up points. We all want to play well and win by lots of goals but it is not like that. Sometimes it is the games you come through when you are not at your best that give you the best feeling.”