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Michael Carrick training in his Champions League kit.

Carrick: We belong in the knockout stages

Michael Carrick believes Manchester United are back where the club belongs – in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League.

The Reds take on Sevilla in the first leg of the round-of-16 tie at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium on Wednesday night, in our first match at this stage of the competition since the 2013/14 season.

Speaking to MUTV, the skipper reiterated why United competing in the latter phase of Europe’s elite competition should be the norm.

“It’s what we should expect of ourselves – to be at this stage of the Champions League,”
Michael said.
“That’s not being blasé, it’s just that should be our standard. We should be in this competition and fighting in the later stages most years.

“This is where we belong and, however this year pans out, this has to be the standard year in, year out.”
Michael Carrick says

“It’s what we should expect of ourselves – to be at this stage of the Champions League. That’s not being blasé, it’s just that should be our standard."

This is the eighth time in Carrick’s 12-year career at Old Trafford that United have qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League. The midfielder was also part of the famous side which won the tournament in 2008, and reached the final in 2009 and 2011.

Reflecting on that period, he told us:
“A few years ago, it was relentless. Every season we had some massive games and we tended to do really well in them and it became quite normal. That’s what we need to get back to, these games feeling quite routine.”


This season could be Carrick’s last taste of Champions League football and our no.16 admits he will enjoy every moment, while trying to help the team to go as far as possible in the competition.  

“For me, it’s probably going to be my last few months as a player and that, in itself, creates a different feeling,”
he said.
“Towards the end of your career, the bigger games in the league, the cup and certainly in the Champions League, you don’t take them for granted.”