What Man Utd players thought about day one under Michael Carrick ahead of Villarreal clash

Carrick calls for focus after emotional few days at Man Utd

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Manchester United players welcomed Michael Carrick’s quiet chats but still think the club have no Plan B after day one under the former midfielder, reports say. The 40-year-old will oversee tonight’s Champions League clash with Villarreal following the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. And he’ll be looking to make his mark right away.

United decided to sack Solskjaer on Sunday.

The Red Devils were battered 4-1 by Watford the previous day, a defeat that left them 12 points behind Chelsea at the top of the Premier League table and members of the playing staff in tears.

Solskjaer knew his time was up as he waved goodbye to the travelling pack at Vicarage Road, despite previously insisting he was confident he could turn things around.

And, now, Carrick will be in the dugout. Temporarily, at least.

The Red Devils have turned to the 40-year-old to lead the team for tonight’s Champions League clash with Villarreal.

And, ahead of that match, the Daily Mail have said that United players welcomed Carrick’s quiet chats.

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He talked to Bruno Fernandes, who has suffered ever since the Hollywood homecoming of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Yet while United players were satisfied with Carrick’s approach, they were still left with the impression the club had no Plan B.

Should the Red Devils win in Spain tonight, they’ll make the knockout stages of the Champions League for just the fourth time since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.

David Moyes steered them to the quarter-finals of the competition in 2014, where they were then blown away by Bayern Munich.

United failed to make it out of the group stages under Louis van Gaal but Jose Mourinho steered them into the last 16 during his second and third seasons at the helm.


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Yet Solskjaer didn’t get them out of the group a year ago.

And whether United are able to take the next step remains to be seen.

Solskjaer wished Carrick well ahead of the match tonight, saying in his farewell interview: “As I’ve said to them this morning as well, trust yourselves, you know we’re better than this.

“We’ve not been able to show it but go out, chest out, enjoy being a Man United player, in the Champions League, on the biggest stage.

“If and when you win the game, you’re through to the next round, Michael [Carrick] is going to be in charge.

“Michael, I have the utmost respect [for], I love Michael to bits. I’m becoming emotional now because he’s top.

“They’ll be fine. I’ll watch them and support them.”

Carrick, meanwhile, has claimed he’s got his own ideas about how United should be run.

When asked about how United will be transformed under him, Carrick said: “We’ll have to see, really.

“Obviously I’ve worked closely with Ole for a long time now and we do have very similar beliefs.

“We did as players and we certainly do as coaches and manager.

“Of course I’ve got my own personality, but it’s very similar, that’s why we worked together for so long and it went so well for a period of time.

“I’m not giving too much away of what my plans are but I’m very clear in my own mind what we want to do.

“I have my own ideas about how we want to play, how we want to go about it and I’m looking forward to seeing that on the pitch.”

United beat Villarreal 2-1 when they met earlier in the season, with Ronaldo scoring a dramatic late winner. 

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