Football: Carrick wants no more United false starts

Football: Carrick wants no more United false starts
Manchester United's Michael Carrick.

MANCHESTER - Michael Carrick wants Manchester United to use their trip to West Ham to show their comeback against Olympiakos was not another false start.

United have been enduring a tough first season under new manager David Moyes and they sunk to a new low with the 3-0 home defeat by arch-rivals Liverpool at the weekend.

Moyes' side responded to overturn a 2-0 deficit against the Greek side in the Champions League last 16 second leg at Old Trafford on Wednesday with a 3-0 win taking them through to the quarter-finals.

However, consistency has been hard to fine since Moyes replaced Alex Ferguson in pre-season and with nine matches left the English champions are 12 points behind fourth-placed Manchester City.

Carrick is optimistic the win against Olympiakos can be a turning point for the campaign ahead of the trip to Upton Park on Saturday.

"I hope this will give us a confidence boost, but I am not getting carried away," said former Hammers favourite Carrick.

"Sometimes this year we have taken one step forward and two steps back. In the past when we think we have cracked it sometimes we get a result that we don't expect.

"We have Saturday's game against West Ham to think about and (Manchester) City (next Tuesday) as well.

"We haven't had a good season and we are well aware of that so we need to start to get a bit of consistency now. Hopefully, this will kick us on but we will take it step by step.

"When you play for this club and you don't get the results then questions are asked, you are there to be shot at.

"It is something we have to handle and that is why we knew Wednesday was so important.

"After the weekend we were very down so after a couple of days it was good to get the win."

Mata set for return

United midfielder Juan Mata could return to the side after being cup-tied for the game against Olympiakos but Robin van Persie is doubtful after suffering a knee problem as he scored a hat-trick against the Greek side.

Nani is close to a return from a hamstring injury that has kept him out since December but defenders Nemanja Vidic, Jonny Evans and Chris Smalling could all miss the match through injury.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce is wary of claims Moyes is presiding over the most beatable United side in decades.

"I just base the fact that the last away game they played against a Premier League side they won 3-0 (against West Brom) and it will be a difficult game with the talent they have got," Allardyce said.

"Talent can always come out and deliver at any specific time. They (United) are probably more dangerous when they are doing not so good than when they are on the crest of a wave.

"Sometimes they can be a little complacent against the lesser teams when they are flying high and they have got these big games at the top of the league and big games in the Champions League."

A home win would certainly intensify the pressure on Moyes, but Allardyce revealed he had already had an effect on the Scot's career by helping him get a transfer to Preston as a player when John Beck was the manager at North End.

"He got sent off after about 38 minutes or something like that," he said. "David probably remembers more than me but even after 38 minutes I said to John he would do Preston all day long."

Joey O'Brien and Marco Borriello are the Hammers' only injury absentees.

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