- Premier League
United can emulate Liverpool next year - Carrick
Michael Carrick believes Manchester United can emulate arch-rivals Liverpool next season and go from languishing outside the European qualification places to challenging for the title.
United will need a remarkable run of form to overtake fifth-placed Everton - a tussle for sixth with Tottenham is on the cards for David Moyes' side - and are set to finish outside the top three for the first time in the Premier League era.
Carrick is looking to Liverpool for inspiration after they finished seventh last year; Brendan Rodgers' side have looked a different team this season and sit top of the table with just a few weeks of this season left.
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"I wouldn't think for one second we can't be back up there challenging," Carrick told The Sun.
"Look at what changed for Liverpool from last year to this. An awful lot can change from season to season, so we are looking ahead thinking we can challenge again."
He added: "With change [in manager] it was unpredictable how it would go to start with but we never expected to be in this position in the league at this stage. But as players we haven't played well enough and certain games have been quite damaging."
Carrick says he has felt the pain of United's struggles under new manager David Moyes as much as the club's fans but appeared to concede the team lacked the required fighting spirit they have shown in the past.
He said: "There are certain times here through the years when we have had bad results and we have had two results on the spin and the roof caves in and everything is wrong.
"We have then gone on to achieve things but for that week it is disastrous, horrible. This year it has been over a longer period. It's horrible.
"You go home after a bad result and you suffer more than most because it is our responsibility if we have not performed and had the result.
"You take it to the next game. You constantly ask questions of yourself. You have to face the public on the school run or when you take the kids somewhere. It's not pleasant but, if you want to take good times, you have to be prepared for the bad times."
Carrick was part of the West Ham team that was relegated in 2003 and clearly sees parallels with the doom and gloom at United.
He added: "You never forget that. They're the things that drive you on; being relegated with West Ham, playing in the Championship. I constantly remind myself of that. It is not something I have forgotten.
"I do not take winning things for granted. You can't do that. That made me even stronger, going through that. I still remember the feeling."