Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick believes his club will challenge for major honours once again next season, after their hopes of silverware and Champions League qualification for this campaign were ended by a 4-2 on aggregate defeat against Bayern Munich.
Carrick was in an optimistic mood as he told Sky Sports that United should be in the mix for trophies again from the start of next season. He accepted their probable absence from next season’s Champions League as punishment for Man United's poor form during the past few months.
“It’s not good enough,” was Carrick’s assessment, when he was asked about United’s failure to secure a return to Europe’s elite competition for next season. “We’ve said that over the last few weeks. This club should be in the Champions League.
“It was always going to be tough [against Bayern] and the reason we are not in the Champions League next season is not so much because of this [result]. It’s our league form throughout the season and we take responsibility for that.
“It’s over a long period of time that we have had too many bad results and ultimately, we pay for that. This [Champions League] is where we want to be. This is where we have beeen for a long time and this is where we will be back I’m sure in the not too distant future.
“We have to pick ourselves up, finish the season as well as we can and then come back next season believing we can challenge for the title again. That’s all that matters.”
Carrick went on to express his disappointment at United’s Champions League exit in Munich, as he reflected on missed opportunities to surprise the reigning European champions.
“We are bitterly disappointed to go out,” he said. “We put ourselves in a great position getting the first goal and it was 20-odds seconds after that we conceded. So that was a big blow for us.
“The high of scoring and then conceding, it was a blow, but that is something we have to deal with. Even then we were still well in the game and we had a chance when Danny [Welbeck] has laid it off to Wayne [Rooney] and I don’t know if it bobbled up or was a bit quick for Wayne, but it didn’t go for us.
“They have had so much possession around our box and we have defended so well in both games and all it takes is for something to drop for them and in the end, it did. It is a defeat and one we have to take.”