Carrick eyes perfect 10

England midfielder keen to feature against Ukraine

Carrick: Hoping for chance

Carrick: Hoping for chance

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Michael Carrick has urged England not to lose the momentum they have built up during their 100 per cent World Cup qualification campaign.

Fabio Capello's side have already booked their place at South Africa next summer with two matches still to play, away to Ukraine on Saturday and then at home to Belarus on Wednesday.

And Carrick, who is keen to feature in both games having only played a peripheral role so far, knows they must not let their standards slip in their last competitive fixtures before the finals next summer.

The Manchester United midfielder accepts that the prospect of ending the campaign with 10 victories from 10 is an added inspiration for the Three Lions and will continue the feel-good factor built up under respected Italian Capello.

Positive

Carrick said of the Ukraine clash: "We'll take it very seriously, it's just as important as any other game. We're in a great position because we've qualified and we've got a great record.

"The worst thing we can do now is take our foot off the pedal and limp through to the World Cup. It's a case of keeping the momentum going and being very positive. Winning is a great habit to get into and stay in.

"We really want to bounce into the World Cup with good performances under our belt.

"If we can go 10 out of 10 that would be great. It would be a great achievement. We've qualified already so it's important to keep the momentum and the positive feeling in the nation and with the fans.

"But we don't want to get carried away because qualifying is one thing and performing at the tournament is something else."

Carrick is eager to be given an opportunity to impress with Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Gareth Barry all ahead of him in the pecking order.

Competition

And he admits that the fierce competition has forced all the England hopefuls to bring additional strings to their bow.

He added: "I want to play for my country and play as much as I can. Hopefully it's an opportunity to get a bit of a chance and I'll just have to wait and see.

"I'm eager to get involved and to play. Saturday is a tough game and it's a tough place to go, so to be involved in that would be great and would be a tough test.

"You've got to be able to attack and chip in with goals, you got to defend and help your back four, you've got to get on the ball and dominate games.

"All the midfielders we've got in this squad are capable of doing that. The competition for places is great to have and that will keep improving everyone."