- Premier League
Carrick targets flying start with United
Michael Carrick believes it is imperative Manchester United make a flying start to the season.
United face a demanding fixture list at the beginning of the campaign, with new manager David Moyes' first Premier League match at the helm coming away at Swansea before Chelsea's visit to Old Trafford.
The defending champions also travel to rivals Liverpool and Manchester City in their first five league games and midfielder Carrick believes United must ensure they are not off the pace by the end of September.
And he feels United's pre-season tour of Asia and Australia is vital to ensure they hit the ground running.
"This week, it's important because then we go on to quite a bit of flying after that - it's huge the start of the season we have," he said at a press conference in Sydney. "It's important we're ready for that, we can't afford a slow start this year, so these few weeks are vital for us."
Moyes' dedication has been infectious in his first few weeks at the club, says Carrick, who has noted the differences between the new regime and Sir Alex Ferguson's hands-off approach.
"The manager is enthusiastic and energetic and intense with his work, and that's rubbed off on everyone," added the midfielder. "Training has been good and there is a huge focus and a good feel around the place.
"He's a lot different to Sir Alex in that sense - he tended to take a step back and let the coaches deal with it, whereas David Moyes tends to be right in the thick of it which is good. It creates an intensity and everyone has responded to that."