get ourselves in front in a tough game."
Carrick denied that playing two matches in just over 48 hours had affected United's players in the final, ultimately costly moments at St Andrew's.
"I felt good physically, even towards the end," he said. "It was just that they sent the big man on (Nikola Zigic) and started putting balls in the box, and our instinct was to drop off and defend. Like I said earlier, we had the opportunities on the counter-attack but our second goal just wasn't to be."
Although Carrick does not feel fatigue was a factor in the loss of two points, he's nevertheless glad of a comparatively long break before the Reds' next assigment - a return to the West Midlands to face West Brom this Saturday, New Year's Day.
"It's a long time until the next game now! So we'll be ready, we'll recover from this, we've come through the game with no more injuries. The squad's looking strong now and we look forward to the next game."