Carrick issues Rooney warning
Michael Carrick is warning his Manchester United team-mates not to get sidetracked by the furore surrounding Wayne Rooney.
As Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill meet to work out the official response to a forceful attack on the club's recruitment policy, which Rooney outlined in a statement last night, preparations are already beginning for Sunday's Premier League trip to Stoke.
And after recording a narrow Champions League win over Bursaspor last night, Carrick knows the seismic events off the field cannot deflect his team-mates' focus now.
"You have to distance yourself from it," he said. "You have no choice.
"Obviously, the player and the club are huge, not just in England but around the world. It is big news.
"But we can only control what happens out on the pitch. That is all we can be focussed on."
Carrick has not spoken to Rooney - a team-mate for both club and country - since it became apparent the striker no longer wishes to remain at Old Trafford.
The midfielder acknowledges it is hardly his place to get involved in what has turned into a personal PR battle between Ferguson and Rooney.
However, he did concede the row had a strange effect on the crowd, even if it didn't alter the eventual outcome.
"It was a funny atmosphere," he said.
"But we had a job to do. We needed to get a result that would put us in a better position for the group.
"Nothing changed in that respect.
"I certainly didn't see it as extra pressure. We have that anyway."