Tuesday 25 October 2016

Michael Carrick enjoying Manchester United life while it lasts

Published 26/02/2016 | 23:16

Manchester United's Michael Carrick has become a seasoned campaigner at Old Trafford
Manchester United's Michael Carrick has become a seasoned campaigner at Old Trafford

Michael Carrick is enjoying his football rather than worrying whether he will still be a Manchester United player next season.

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This is the midfielder's 10th campaign at Old Trafford, during which time he has collected five Premier League winners' medals and a Champions League.

Carrick's time in the north-west could soon be up, though, as the midfielder's contract expires in the summer.

Arsenal, Newcastle and even the Chinese Super League have been mentioned as possible destinations, but the 34-year-old is only concerned about enjoying himself with United and England.

"I don't know, to be honest," stand-in captain Carrick said when asked about his future. "I don't expect to play every game - this week the run of games we've had to play would be a big ask for me.

"I've probably played 25, 26, 27 games or something so far, so it's not bad.

"I want to play every game because you're used to playing most games, but it's just how it is.

"I'm just enjoying playing at the moment. How long is it going to last? When you get to this stage, you don't know, so I am just trying to enjoy it for what it is and see where that takes me."

That short-term focus means Carrick's is only looking at Sunday's clash against one of the clubs reportedly interested in his services.

Injury-hit United are hoping to have players back for Arsenal's visit, ahead of which one of the largest questions is about Anthony Martial's availability.

A hamstring complaint saw the Frenchman withdraw from the United starting line-up just minutes before Thursday's do-or-die Europa League clash with FC Midtjylland.

It resulted in Marcus Rashford being thrown in for a high-pressure debut - an occasion the 18-year-old dealt with manfully, scoring two crucial goals in a 5-1 win.

"He's trained with us quite a lot this season," Carrick said of the teenager. "I've seen plenty of him.

"He's lively, he's pacey, he's enthusiastic. To get two goals it's the stuff of dreams, to see his reaction and what it means to him.

"That's what it's all about, getting the young lads through."

Another chapter in the fairytale could be written on Sunday if Martial remains alongside Wayne Rooney on the sidelines, giving Rashford another starting role.

"We'll have to see who's fit and available for the weekend," Carrick said. "I'm sure after that performance he's going to have bags of confidence.

"You don't know until you're thrown in there but that's the beauty this season.

"We've played a lot of lads who maybe wouldn't have been close to getting a chance, but they've got the chance and a lot of them have taken it.

"I think Cameron (Borthwick-Jackson) is a prime example of that.

"If you ask him, he probably wasn't hoping to be around the first team this season, but he gets his chance and he's looked comfortable and at home.

"Sometimes you don't know what you've got until you throw them in and you don't want to be throwing them in all at once, but I suppose you see who can deal with it and who can't and most of them have."

Press Association

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