FOOTBALL NEWS

27/12/2011 09:00, Report by Steve Bartram

Carrick shrugs off critics

Michael Carrick says United possess sufficiently thick skin to cope with any criticism directed towards Old Trafford.

The Reds' October mauling by Manchester City, allied to premature exits from the Champions League and Carling Cup, prompted widespread condemnation of the champions' form.

Now that United have drawn level on points with Roberto Mancini's side at the head of the Barclays Premier League table, Carrick insists external views of the club count for little.

Speaking to Sky Sports News, the 30-year-old smiled: "Keep criticising, we don't mind! Since I've been here we've had it at some stage every year, and more or less we've had good seasons.

"We'll keep doing what we're doing. We know the potential here and how well we're playing of late, and we'll just keep doing the things we know best and hopefully that'll be enough."

In addition to joining City on 45 points, the Reds' successive 5-0 wins over Fulham and Wigan have hacked sizeable chunks from the Blues' goal difference advantage, which now stands at just five in City's favour.

"That was on our mind at half-time [against Wigan]," admitted Carrick. "We wanted to keep going, we didn't want things to fizzle out as they can do sometimes when you're a couple of goals up against 10 men and they sit back.

"It was a different game in the second half but we just kept plugging away, kept going and we're obviously delighted with 5-0."

More: Evra salutes Reds' spirit | United v Wigan player ratings

@ManUtd
on Twitter