English Premiership

Carrick: United players are trying

Michael Carrick (Getty Images)
Michael Carrick (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Manchester United assistant coach Michael Carrick insists the club's recent struggles on the pitch is not down to a lack of effort from the players.

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The Red Devils have been making the news for all the wrong reasons of late, with reported off-field problems between manager Jose Mourinho and star midfielder Paul Pogba piling pressure on all concerned, while results have also been disappointing.

United went four games without a win before coming back from two goals down at Old Trafford to beat Newcastle 3-2 in their last outing. The performances have led to criticism aimed at some players' work rate, but Carrick doesn't believe that's the problem.

"As a player at United the expectation is there, the scrutiny is there and nowadays every little move you make people jump on it and judge it," he told Sky Sports' In The Pink podcast.

"The lads are human beings who make mistakes. It's too easy to throw out a player is not trying. It's definitely not the case."

Asked about his role at the club, he added: "I support the manager, basically. I get in about 8.15am to help plan the session for that day and plan ahead for the next game. Whatever the manager needs, I'm there to support him. Obviously, I offer suggestions when it's right but support is the biggest one, as well as learning.

"He's been fantastic with me. The situation I'm in at the moment, my first job after being a player so there's a huge element of learning and trying to soak up as much as I can to improve myself.

"But at the same time, I'm there to do a job and there's a responsibility there. He's been great with me. He's given me plenty of things to do and at the same time he's trying to help me develop. I couldn't have asked any more of him."