Carrick chasing top prize

United midfielder admits points are more important that performances

Carrick: Title-chaser

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Michael Carrick hopes Manchester United can hit top gear soon, but admits results remain the priority.

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The Red Devils currently lead the Premier League title race, with goal difference keeping them ahead of arch-rivals Manchester City.

They are, however, yet to display the kind of form which has seen them dominate the division in the past.

Sir Alex Ferguson's men may be the only side in the top flight yet to taste defeat this season, but they have suffered more than a few scares along the way.

Midfield schemer Carrick admits he would like to see United shake off the shackles and stop grinding out results, but insists coming out on top is all that matters in the long run.

Consistency

"Of course we want to be playing at our best because we feel it gives us the best chance of winning games," said the England international.

"You don't want to struggle through every game and have to rely on individual magic to win. We want to be playing well on a consistent basis.

"But it does boil down to finishing on top. That is what we are striving for."

He added: "We know ourselves when we haven't played great. But there is a determination within the squad.

"When you are not playing well it is a case of finding a way to win. We've been quite good at that over the years and it can be vital.

"If you get three or four games like that over the course of a season those points really count come the end of it."

Dangerous

Carrick has also sought to play down the fact that United still have at least one game in hand on all of their closest challengers, with possible points counting for nothing until they have been put on the board.

He said: "It is very dangerous to start banking points before you've got them. We're not in to that.

"You've got to take the table for what it is - it's up to us to go and earn the points whenever that may be.

"Things will start to even themselves out after the Blackpool game [on 25th January]."