Confidence key to wins, says Carrick
Date published: 04 January 2017
MICHAEL Carrick believes Manchester United's recent run of form fuelled his team-mates to secure their sixth consecutive Premier League win at West Ham.
Second-half goals from Juan Mata and Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw Jose Mourinho's side stretch their unbeaten run to 13 games in all competitions but the game was overshadowed by referee Mike Dean's controversial decision to send Hammers midfielder Sofiane Feghouli off after 15 minutes.
Reports on Tuesday afternoon suggested that the Hammers were preparing to appeal the decision, with Dean coming under heavy criticism from some observers.
Up until the red card, the hosts had started the game brightly and the dismissal created a hotly-tempered atmosphere as every decision came under scrutiny from the home crowd, and Carrick was pleased with how the players dealt with conditions to claim victory.
Carrick told MUTV: "In the first half we weren't where we wanted to be in terms of keeping possession and creating chances.
"We just looked less sharp after only playing on Saturday, but credit should also go to them as they only played on Saturday as well and had to play with 10 men.
"But we are delighted that we saw the game out. We have kept our run going and confidence is high, which makes such a massive difference in games like this because we feel as if we can see that finishing line and it ultimately drove us over the line to give us the three points."
The introductions of substitutes Mata and Marcus Rashford swung the game in United's favour as the latter played a key role in setting up the Spaniard's opener.
The 19-year-old has been a bit-part player under Mourinho following his break-through season which saw the Manchester-born forward earn his first England call-up last year.
But Carrick was full of admiration for the teenager, who claimed all the plaudits with his performance at the London Stadium.
"Pace makes a big difference," Carrick said. "There was space out there and he came on to exploit it. You could sense he was going to create something as he nearly got inside a couple of times before he set up the goal.
"He did really well to lay off to Juan, he took his chance and so did Ibra so we can go home happy."
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