EPL

Carrick relishing the chance to lead Man Utd in Champions League clash at Villarreal

By Sports Desk November 22, 2021

Manchester United caretaker manager Michael Carrick is relishing the challenge of leading the team for their Champions League clash with Villarreal following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Norwegian was relieved of his duties at Old Trafford on Sunday following a poor run of results, culminating in a humiliating 4-1 defeat at Watford on Saturday.

Carrick was a part of Solskjaer's backroom staff and has been asked to take charge of the Red Devils until an interim manager can be hired to see them through to the end of the season.

Speaking at a media conference ahead of the trip to Spain for Tuesday's game, Carrick told reporters: "My mindset is that I'm preparing the team for tomorrow night and I'll give it my best. 

"This club has been my life for an awful long time now. I'm not too sure [how long it will be for] but that's not on my mind right now.

"It's a big game for us. I will go about my job as I know, trust myself and my staff, the players and look forward to the game."

When asked if there are likely to be any changes in tactics on his watch, Carrick responded: "I've worked closely with Ole for a long time now and we have similar beliefs.

"Of course, I have my own personality but it's very similar [to Solskjaer] and that's why we've worked together well for a period of time. I have clear plans in my own mind of what we want to do and how we want to go about it.

"It's a challenge I'm relishing at the moment and I'm really looking forward to it. I know it's not what we wanted but it's a fantastic group – they've proved that before and they'll prove it again."

The former United and England midfielder was also asked when he found out he would be taking charge of the team for at least the next game.

"I found out [Sunday] at the training ground," Carrick said. "I didn't know anything before then and I don't think anyone [among coaching staff and players] did. Ole was already here. It was a bit of a rush then to organise training, speak to the players and carry out the day's work.

"All things considered, it went really well yesterday, everyone adapted in a really classy manner."

United go into the game at Villarreal top of Group F but level on seven points with the Spanish side, while Atalanta are just two points behind in third.

"The biggest thing for the fans is a result," Carrick insisted. "There's a responsibility that comes with playing for this club that doesn't come with playing for many others.

"[Villarreal] have a good mix, a good balance and we respect that. We've met a couple of times and we know each other a little bit better. It's a big game for both teams but it's one we can really look forward to."

 

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: Liverpool plan move for Napoli's Spain international Fabian Ruiz Rumour Has It: Liverpool plan move for Napoli's Spain international Fabian Ruiz

    Liverpool are in the market to add depth and quality to their midfield.

    The Reds are currently second in the Premier League, after four straight wins.

    Liverpool have scored a Premier League-high 44 goals in 15 games.

     

    TOP STORY – LIVERPOOL CHASING FABIAN RUIZ

    Liverpool want to sign Napoli's Spain international Fabian Ruiz next off-season to bolster their midfield, reports Fichajes.

    The Reds view the 25-year-old as an ideal player on an upward trajectory in his career.

    Georginio Wijnaldum exited Liverpool for Paris Saint-Germain last off-season with no obvious replacement added.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Fichajes reports that Atletico Madrid are considering a move for Ajax's Argentinean left-back Nicolas Tagliafico.

    - Milan are interested in Fiorentina's Nikola Milenkovic and Real Madrid's Luka Jovic as they look to add depth to their squad reports Gazzetta dello Sport.

    - Inter are tracking FC Zurich's 20-year-old Switzerland international defender Becir Omeragic claims Calciomercato.

    - The Athletic reports that Southampton will sign ex-Chelsea and Manchester City goalkeeper Willy Caballero as emergency cover. Caballero, 40, is a free agent.

  • Ajax boss Ten Hag 'ready' to coach abroad amid Man Utd links Ajax boss Ten Hag 'ready' to coach abroad amid Man Utd links

    Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag said he is "ready" to coach abroad and would be "happy to take up that challenge" amid reported interest from Manchester United.

    Ten Hag has been linked with Premier League giants United, who are eyeing a long-term manager following the interim appointment of Ralf Rangnick until the end of the season.

    Ajax's Ten Hag has impressed in his time in Amsterdam, where the 51-year-old has delivered two Eredivisie titles and embarked on a memorable run to the 2018-19 Champions League semi-finals.

    Ten Hag's men have been the entertainers of Europe this term, dazzling their way into the Champions League round of 16, while topping the Eredivisie ahead of rivals PSV by a point.

    "I think I'm ready for it [coaching abroad]. I would be happy to take up that challenge," Ten Hag told De Volkskrant, with Ajax managing to score 48 goals while only conceding twice in the league this term.

    "But I'm not chasing it. If it turns out that that step will never come, I will not say that my coaching career has failed.

    "But I think I have sufficient competencies to take on that challenge."

    The Rangnick era, albeit on an interim basis, started with a 1-0 win for United at home to Crystal Palace on Sunday.

    Rangnick became the sixth German to manage in the Premier League and the first German to win his first game in charge in the competition (Felix Magath, Jurgen Klopp, Jan Siewert, Daniel Farke and Thomas Tuchel all failing to do so before him).

    Following the victory against Palace, six of the last seven managers (including caretakers) have won their first game in charge of United in all competitions, with Louis van Gaal being the only exception during this period (a 2-1 loss to Swansea City at Old Trafford in August 2014).

  • Vlahovic? 'Too early' to talk about future as Viola star enters history books – Prade Vlahovic? 'Too early' to talk about future as Viola star enters history books – Prade

    Fiorentina sporting director Daniele Prade said it is "still too early" to discuss Dusan Vlahovic's future as the wantaway star entered the Serie A history books.

    Vlahovic is set to leave Fiorentina after opting against signing a new deal in Florence, with the Serbia international's current contract expiring in June 2023.

    The 21-year-old has been linked to Serie A champions Inter, Juventus, Premier League holders Manchester City, Manchester United, Bundesliga winners Bayern Munich, LaLiga titleholders Atletico Madrid, Tottenham and Arsenal.

    Amid the growing speculation, Vlahovic maintained his red-hot form with another goal in Sunday's 3-2 victory over Bologna.

    Vlahovic became only the fourth player in Serie A history to score 30 goals or more in a calendar year aged under 22 after Giuseppe Meazza in 1930, Felice Borel in 1933 and Antonio Valentin Angelillo in 1968.

    Prior to taking his season haul to 13 goals in 16 games, Prade was asked about Vlahovic.

    "It's still too early to say what will happen with him," Prade told Sky Sport Italia pre-game.

    "We are in a delicate moment and talking about the transfer market would be wrong for everyone.

    "He's being a professional, [coach Vincenzo] Italiano is happy with this and so are we."

    Before Vlahovic, only three Fiorentina players in the three points for a win era (since 1994-95) have managed to score at least 13 goals in the first 16 Serie A games of the season – Giuseppe Rossi, Luca Toni and Gabriel Batistuta.

    Since 2004-05, only David Suazo (14/14), Romelu Lukaku (12/12) and Vlahovic (12/12) have converted 100 per cent of penalties taken among those who have attempted at least 12 in Serie A during this period.

    Fiorentina are sixth in the standings – level on points with Juventus, and seven points behind fourth-placed Atalanta.

    The Viola have collected at least 27 points in the first 16 Serie A matchdays for the first time since 2015-16.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.