Carrick: Red Devils need to do better

Manchester United's Michael Carrick admitted that his team were far from impressive during their recent 1-0 win over West Ham.

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The Red Devils got off to the best possible start when star striker Robin van Persie turned in his first effort on the 33rd second of the match. However, Sir Alex Ferguson's men could not find a second goal to secure them a comfortable victory, and came very close to conceding a late equalizer before Carlton Cole's close-range attempt was kept out by Anders Lindegaard.

Carrick acknowledged that United were lacking in the attacking department, but he chose to focus on the positives the team could take from the result.

"It was by far not a classic, obviously we weren’t at our best and the flowing football that you want to play and the chances that you want to create didn’t quite happen. But we got a clean sheet which was quite pleasing and I thought we defended well," Carrick said to MUTV.

"They pumped a lot of balls into the box, asked questions and made us defend. Our two centre halves were terrific. West Ham had two big guys – as [Andy] Carroll goes off, Carlton Cole comes on – and it can be tough."

The narrow win over the Hammers, coupled with Chelsea's failure to beat Fulham, resulted in the Red Devils pulling seven points clear of Rafa Benitez's team, although defending champions Manchester City remained on United's tail.

Urging his team-mates to improve on their latest display, Carrick emphasized the importance of staying one step ahead of their rivals.

"It is something to build on because the performance needs to be better," he stated.

"A second goal would’ve put us in a much better position going into the final few minutes but, in the end, we held on and we’re still in a good position at the top of the league. We are quite satisfied."

Manchester United will visit Reading for their Premier League fixture over the weekend.

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