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CARRA ON UNITED CHALLANGE

Posted on 22 October 2005  - 12:00

Michael Carrick knows the team can expect a typically tough test when they arrive at Old Trafford for Saturday's encounter with Manchester United, but feels the boys now possess the 'confidence and belief' to succeed on such stages.

Michael Carrick knows the team can expect a typically tough test when they arrive at Old Trafford for Saturday's encounter with Manchester United, but feels the boys now possess the 'confidence and belief' to succeed on such stages.

Three wins on the spin see us sit one place ahead of United in the Premiership standings, with the North West outfit a point behind with a game in hand.

Teams have gone head to head with Sir Alex Ferguson's side in the past and given the appearance of applying damage limitation to their ambitions, but Michael insists there will be no such approach from our team when they take to the pitch.

"Definitely with way we've started and where we are sitting in the league," said the England international who returned to the side against Everton last weekend after injury. "I've been part of teams in the past that have gone up there and if you get a draw it is a bonus. We are not going up there for that, we believe we can win the game and that is the mentality around the club going into this game and next week.

You can't win every game, but there is a confidence and belief around at the moment that I have not experienced before

We are looking forward to the big games and feel on our day we are as good as anyone. We've been pretty consistent this year - don't get me wrong, this will be a hard game - but we believe we are up with them in a one-off game. We will see what happens.

Michael agreed that the balance and mix of the squad looks geared up to make progress and improvement this term, but says it is important not to get carried away with inflated expectations as we come out of the first quarter of the season.

"Everything seems to be going in the right direction and things are trying are coming off," he added. "We are doing what the gaffer wants us to do and it is just about moving forward and improving as a squad.

"We are doing that at the moment and it is something we need to keep building on through the season. If we do that, who is to say where we can finish?

"After the Grimsby game there were three tough games and we managed to pick up nine points out of them. If we hadn't won against Fulham and did not come back from 2-0 down against Charlton, people would be looking at things differently. It is such a fine line, but to bounce back with three wins in the league makes it a good little run for us."