Setback after setback, but we’ll be ready for Arsenal, insists Carrick

Michael Carrick says Manchester United are ready to vent their frustration on Arsenal in a match where both sides are desperate to avoid going into a Premier League tailspin.

A testing debut season for manager David Moyes suffered yet another significant setback as Darren Bent’s last-gasp header earned the Premier League’s bottom club a point.

The 2-2 draw came despite United dominating possession and putting an astounding 81 crosses into the Fulham box. Arsenal, for their part, were walloped 5-1 at Liverpool and are desperate to maintain their assault on the Premier League.

“We’ll be ready (for Arsenal),” said Carrick. “It’s one of those seasons — setback after setback. We have to believe that with performances, things are going to change.

“There’s no better place to do that than on Wednesday night at Arsenal.

“We still believe we can go there and get the result we want.”

Carrick admits he still does not know how United failed to win against Fulham. “It’s a tough one to take,” said Carrick. “It’s hard to explain how we’ve only come away with a point. The game was so one-sided. I haven’t been involved in something like that in my entire career.”

Moyes branded it his lowest point to date. This in a season when they have won just three out of their nine games in 2014 so far and were denied a place at Wembley in a penalty shoot-out against Sunderland in the Capital One Cup semi-final which ranks as one of the worst of all time.

“I have been saying for quite a few months now we could do with a change of fortune,” said Moyes.

With even a place in next season’s Champions League appearing a remote possibility, United may use their looming mini-break in Dubai to reshape their plans for the remainder of the campaign. Before that though, they have a trip to Arsenal to negotiate tomorrow, and record signing Juan Mata admits United’s performances need to improve quickly.

“It seems that luck is not on our side, but I don’t like to give excuses,” said Spanish international Mata. “We have to get better and improve our shooting, because we got many times to the box and could have scored more than two goals. I’m sure we will make it, but there are less and less games to play so the sooner the better.”

Mata said he was “hurt” and “frustrated” by the Fulham draw but is determined to right the wrongs against Arsenal on Wednesday night. Mata has scored four times in his four starts against the Gunners for Chelsea, with his latest strike coming earlier this season in the Capital One Cup.

“The week at the training ground was really good. I know my team mates better and I feel a great atmosphere in the dressing room,” Mata said.

“I hope we can show that next Wednesday against Arsenal. It’s a very tough game, but I have good memories from my last visit to the Emirates a few months ago and I hope I can enjoy a good game as well.”


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