"He's supposed to sit in the middle of the pitch. I'll maybe have to fine him!"

- Sir Alex Ferguson after Michael Carrick's superb solo goal against Queens Park Rangers

18/12/2011 14:30
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Happy to pay the price

Michael Carrick said he'd happily pay any fine Sir Alex imposed on him after the midfielder left his position and surged forward to net United's second goal in Sunday's 2-0 win at Queens Park Rangers.

With 56 minutes on the clock at Loftus Road, deep-lying midfielder Carrick picked up the ball inside his own half and showed a great piece of skill to bamboozle Joey Barton before advancing and firing past Radek Cerny from just outside the penalty area.

"He's supposed to sit in the middle of the pitch," the Reds manager told MUTV afterwards. "I'll maybe have to fine him!"

Carrick chuckled at the suggestion before admittting he'd be "happy to pay it if I score goals like that". Indeed, Sunday's strike was his first league goal since December 2009... and certainly one of the best he's scored in a Reds shirt.

"The last time I scored a goal from inside my own half was probably when I was playing Under-12s!" he said. "It just seemed to open up for me and I kept on going and going and thought: 'Why not?'. It was great to see it go in.

"We had so many chances in the game, so many opportunities to get a shot on target... I was starting to wonder if it was going to be one of those days. So I was delighted to see it go in, though, even if the run seemed to take forever."

Carrick's goal effectively ended the game, something he admits should have happened far earlier. Wayne Rooney headed the Reds in front after only 52 seconds, but despite dominating possession and creating an abundance of chances, Sir Alex's men went into the half-time break only 1-0 up.

"We were definitely a bit disappointed [at half-time]," Carrick said. "We created a lot of chances but the final ball just didn't go our way.

"We were wary because we knew the game was still on a knife-edge. In those situations all it takes is one goal and the

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