Carrick: I'm immensely proud of the players

Sunday 28 November 2021 19:43

Michael Carrick insists a point is not enough for Manchester United and he's disappointed not to take away more from Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

The Reds took the lead early in the second half, Jadon Sancho capitalising on a mistake from Jorginho to score on the counter-attack, before the Italian midfielder converted from the spot to equalise for Chelsea.

It's an important point for United, but caretaker manager Carrick believes the team could have got even more at a traditionally tough ground to go to for the club.

Here's what he told MUTV and Sky Sports post-match...

DISAPPOINTMENT AND PRIDE

"I'm disappointed, actually. When you're in front in a game like this, to have it taken away from you like it was is disappointing. Immensely proud of the players, immensely proud of the whole group. All week, [we've been] in a difficult situation and trying to make the best of it. [We] can't hide from that, it's been tough at times but we've made the best of it and I'm immensely proud of the resposne and the way we've gone about it this week. We came here to win the game, we had a plan, we were positive in our mindset and in our attitude for that, so we're a little bit disappointed, I can't lie."

JADON'S COMPOSURE

'It looks quite easy and straightforward when you see the camera and two of them are hunting down the goalkeeper but actually there’s a lot of time to think and there’s a bit of a cat and mouse with the goalkeeper… does Jadon go too early? I’ve seen them situations being made a mess of at times. He kept his head, made his decision and delayed a bit. You get your rewards and I said to him the other night and I said to all the boys ‘it doesn’t always come free and easy, free-flowing’, sometimes by doing the other side of it and earning your luck. It’s an old saying but it’s a terrific saying but sometimes it doesn’t half come off."

ANGER AT PENALTY DECISION

"I don't think it was a penalty, no. I don't think it was a penalty at all. I don't know what my opinion counts now, to be honest. I don't think it was a penalty. I think they've obviously had a lot of play, had a lot of shots, David's had two saves, which I kind of knew before the game at some point he's gonna have to make one or two for us. But other than that, I felt quite comfortable in the game, I have to say.

"Of course we want to be better in terms of having the ball and possession and I'm not getting carried away saying it was a fantastic performance but I thought we defended ever so well. I thought the atitude was absolutely top from the boys, putting bodies on the line when we had to, sticking together, tracking back, we've obviously got to do the other side a bit better but I cannot fault the boys one bit from today."

WE WANTED MORE ON THE BREAK

"We came here to take more of the ball, we came here to put our foot on the ball, but yeah, of course, I understood what the game was going to bring and, yeah, probably in some ways it panned out that way. I wanted us to be a bit more dangerous on the break and have a few more moments than we did but it's a good Chelsea team, they're playing well, they're on a great run of results, so to come away disappointed and feel that we've left something out there is, in some ways, is a positive, you know."

Sancho scored United's goal, and he and Rashford worked hard to press throughout.

ON THE TEAM'S PRESSING

"I think there's a lot made of that pressing, to be honest. I get there's times when we haven't been good this season, I totally agree with that, but I think over time we've pressed ever so well as a team, certainly in recent seasons, and at times this season we have but when stuff gets thrown out there, it's easy for everyone to just agree with it and repeat what's been said.

"But that's what I expect, I expect the criticism to grow when something is suggested; that's the nature of the business. But we know that's not true.

"It hasn't been good enough at times, so I'm not defending that at all, but pretty much every game bar two of three, we've set out to press. We did that today, I thought we won the ball high up the pitch, we had to drop deep at times, we had to be compact, but we always looked to get on the front foot and have a trigger to press, I thought the front three did that ever so well, and stopped them playing little passes through the middle into Jorginho which they're good at.

"I said about Jadon in midweek, he showed another side to his game, and today exactly the same, Bruno the same, Marcus the same, from that sides of things I was really pleased. And Fred, with that interception at the end, pressing high, which is what Fred's so good at. Just the other bit on the end wasn't quite there."

De Gea: We wanted more than a draw article

Our goalkeeper says United showed great spirit, fight and determination at Stamford Bridge...

COMPARISONS TO EARLIER IN THE SEASON

"I'm not getting involved in what's gone on this season and comparing, there's no point really at this stage.

"We had a plan, I thought Fred, Scott, Nemanja were terrific, I thought the front three were terrific and I thought the back four defended ever so well when they needed to. And they stretch you, they ask questions of you, they put a lot of bodies across the front line, a lot of runs from the wing-backs. We had to drop Scotty in there at times and we had a plan for that. I'm so pleased for the boys, I'm really pleased for the boys, it's not about me, it's about the players and they were really good in what they done."

Carrick was full of praise for Fred, whose energetic performance was key.

ON MAKING CHANGES TO STARTING XI

"The changes I made was a feeling. We had thoughts about the game, how the game was going to go, about how we could hurt them, how we could penetrate, a little bit of freshness as well, a bit of energy some boys have played a lot of games. There's a lot of things that go into that. Yes, blocking the middle of the pitch was a big part of it for us, but that's only a small part.

"As I said, we wanted to take more of the ball, we came to do that, just couldn't manage to pull it off. I don't blame the players for that. It's been a tough time, when you're coming from that position where we came from to the results that Chelsea have had, I can't blame the players for that, I'm immensely proud of the way they've performed today."

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