FOOTBALL NEWS

29/01/2008 09:05, Report by Nick Coppack

Carrick: This week is vital

United may have been drawn with Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round on Monday but Michael Carrick’s focus is on the immediate future.

The Reds welcome Portsmouth to Old Trafford on Wednesday night before travelling to London on Saturday to face Tottenham for the second time in six days. United ended Spurs' FA Cup dream on Sunday with a 3-1 win courtesy of goals from Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo (2).

“Weeks like this can define a season,” Carrick told Manchester United Radio.

“If we can get the three wins we’re aiming for then we’ll be in good shape.”

Carrick did afford a quick glance to the future, admitting he’d love to reach the FA Cup final for a second successive year.

“A club like United is in competitions to win them and we’re now starting to look towards Wembley. Of course, you don’t want to get too carried away because there are tough games ahead.

“But we want to be there again come May, especially because we came so close last season and lost right at the death. We’re determined to put things right this season.”

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