30/04/2011 07:09, Report by M Froggatt, G Thompson
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Carrick braced for big week

Michael Carrick says fixture congestion will inspire and not hinder United as Sir Alex Ferguson’s side chase a Barclays Premier League and UEFA Champions League double.

After a dominant 2-0 win over Schalke in the Champions League semi-final first leg on Tuesday, the Reds are back in action with a run of three blockbuster clashes in just seven days.

First up is Sunday’s match with Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium, with Schalke visiting Old Trafford for the second leg three days later before a pivotal league encounter with Chelsea at the weekend.

Carrick feels United are up to the challenge, telling “We thrive on it. We want to be playing in the big games and they’re coming thick and fast now. But, at the end of the day, if you want to be successful then it’s the name of the game - that is what we are here for.

“Every game is such a big one now so it’s pretty easy to switch our focus and keep motivated. We just need to recover quickly and prepare for the next game which we are all looking forward to.”

The Reds have performed well at the Emirates since the Gunners moved there in 2006, not least in the last two visits - in the league and Champions League - which both yielded 3-1 victories. Carrick is hoping to continue that run.

“We are in a good position in the league, we have got the points in hand and we will go there to play like we would play regardless of what is at stake. We have done alright in the last year or two so hopefully we can carry that on.

“You can’t draw on them too much because it is a different game but we have confidence that we have been down there before and won. Hopefully we can take that into the game and win again.”

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