Manchester United caretaker manager Michael Carrick has said he is prepared to remain in charge for as long as it takes for the club to find a more permanent replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Solskjaer was sacked on Sunday after United fell to a disappointing 4-1 defeat to newly-promoted Watford. This came after Leicester City, Liverpool and Manchester City had inflicted similarly damaging results to leave United eighth in the Premier League table.
For now, Carrick – who was part of the coaching set-up under Solskjaer – has been placed in temporary charge of first-team affairs, and he has a baptism of fire for his first game.
On Tuesday United travel to Villarreal in the Champions League with their hopes of reaching the knockout stages hanging in the balance.
Speaking before the match, Carrick said: “My mindset is preparing the team for tomorrow night, giving it my best. I know the boys very well, I know the staff very well and I know the club very well.
“This club has been my life for an awful long time now. It’s the sacrifice and dedication you’ve got to give. I’m prepared to do it for however long it takes – whether it’s one game, two games, right now I’m not sure. That’s not something that’s on my mind, it’s about tomorrow.
“It’s a big game for us and I’ll go about my job exactly as I know. It’s a fantastic game to be playing in – these are the nights you’re tested and you remember.”
Asked why he believes United have not pushed on this season despite considerable investment in the summer, Carrick revealed he had an idea of where improvements could be made.
“We could sit and talk through all sorts of things right now but it’s not time to be looking back,” he said.
“Of course, I know what I could have done better, what could’ve been improved. I think it’s important that everyone looks at themselves. It’s easy to look elsewhere and as a player I was exactly the same. You got to look at yourself.”
Carrick also hinted that a major overhaul of the lineup should not be expected for Tuesday’s game.
“I’ve worked closely with Ole for a long time now and we do have very similar beliefs,” he added.
“We did as players and we certainly do as coaches and managers. Of course, I’ve got my own personality but of course we’re very similar – that’s why we worked together for so long.
“We’ll have to wait and see, I’m not giving too much away for what my plans are.”
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