We need wins to regain fear factor – Michael Carrick

Michael Carrick insists Manchester United must start winning games if they are to again strike fear into their opponents.


Michael Carrick captained an inexperienced Manchester United side as they lost at Bournemouth

Louis van Gaal’s side were beaten 2-1 at Bournemouth on Saturday evening after crashing out of the Champions League following defeat in Wolfsburg earlier in the week.

United have now gone five Barclays Premier League games without a victory, their worst run in a single season since 1998/99 – where Sir Alex Ferguson ended up leading them to the ‘Treble’ of league title, FA Cup and Champions League crown.

Van Gaal had nine first team regulars unavailable at Bournemouth and, with injuries ravaging their squad, particularly in defence, the defiant Dutchman was forced to name an inexperienced back line on the south coast.

Both full-backs, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Guillermo Varela, were making their full Premier League debuts, with 20-year-old Paddy McNair and makeshift defender Daley Blind completing their back line.

They could not stop Bournemouth scoring twice to seal a memorable win. Carrick, who captained United at the Vitality Stadium in the continued absence of Wayne Rooney, knows they need to get back on the winning trail if they are to rebuild their reputation.

“That comes with winning games,” he said when asked if United’s fear factor had gone.

“We need to get back to winning games. It’s not for me to get involved really, I’m just about getting back to work really and working hard this week and we’re focussed on next week to get back to winning games.

“That’s always important for us as players and that’s all we can focus on. I think it would be wrong to focus on anything else.”

Carrick also defended the performance of the inexperienced players and said blaming their run of form on injuries is not something he wants to do.

“It’s been a tough one to take, very disappointing week. Going out of the Champions League was obviously tough to take and we were very disappointed,” he said.

“And then to come here, we wanted to bounce back. We tried to bounce back and to fall short like we have is doubly disappointing.

“I could say different reasons, I could talk a lot, but at the end of the day it’s about the results. We need to get back, stick together and trust ourselves to do the right thing and bounce back next week.

“I mean, we’ve had a few injuries, I’m not making any excuses but if you look at the injuries. I thought the young lads did well, to be honest. It was a tough one to come into, tough two games.

“They’ve stepped in and done well. I don’t like making excuses, we’ve got the squad, we’re the club that we are because we want to be fighting in the competitions, when you’ve got injuries you’ve got to deal with them so I’m not making excuses.”

Having finished third in their Champions League group, United will now be awaiting their Europa League opponents.

Although Carrick admits dropping out of Europe’s premier club competition is tough to take, the England midfielder says everyone at Old Trafford will now be looking to win the Europa League.

“We’re professional players, we want to be playing at the top level, we want to be testing ourselves at the top level,” he added.

“To be out of the Champions League is a big blow for us – you can’t deny that. That’s there, that’s obvious for everyone to see.

“It’s a tough one to take. Once you’re out you’ve got to deal with it and we’re in the Europa League. When that comes around we’ll deal with that.

“We’ll be giving everything to win that competition, just like we’re always giving everything in every game. It doesn’t always work but as players that’s all we can do.”