Football - Carrick happy to be role model

Michael Carrick is happy to accept the responsibility that comes with being one of Manchester United's elder statesmen.

PA Sport
Football - Carrick happy to be role model
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Michael Carrick says he is happy to lead

With Paul Scholes now retired, Darren Fletcher's future open to considerable doubt and Anderson among those believed to be surplus to requirements, Carrick's experience is going to be important in the months ahead.

Five Premier League titles and three Champions League final appearances mean the 31-year-old midfielder is someone the rest of his team-mates look up to, and doubtless still will even if Cesc Fabregas does make the switch from Barcelona.

It is not a situation that fazes Carrick, however, just part of something he views as a natural development process.

"The responsibility changes a little bit as you get older," said Carrick. "It is an experience thing. The the longer you play and more games you have, then the experience comes.

"The younger boys sometimes look for a bit of guidance or help in dealing with certain situations.

"I have certainly done that in the past with Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville. It is part of the continuity and traditions we try to keep at the club.

"I am one of the older ones now. It is not something that bothers me."

Carrick's calm approach will be needed to ease United through the coming weeks of transition as they adjust to life under a new manager.

Moyes might still be waiting to make his first significant purchase, but the United players have been impressed by the work they are being asked to undertake on the training ground.

"As players we embrace the change," Carrick said. "The manager has slightly different ideas. That is natural. It is up to us to adapt quickly.

"But the players have been together for a while. We know our strengths and weaknesses. It's just about working together and, so far, everyone has responded."

With three exceptionally tough games to play at the start of the season, United now have time to adjust.

Some comfort can be found from the knowledge Manchester City and Chelsea are also under new management, albeit with a familiar face at the helm in the latter case.

Yet Carrick accepts there is an element of unknown about the new campaign which just raises excitement levels.

He said: "Every year there is fresh optimism around our league, with people saying it is going to be the most exciting league and various teams are going to challenge.

"In the end it has been similar teams who have been up there. But with us, City and Chelsea changing managers, there is a different feel about it.

"Hopefully we will be right up there but it is certainly going to be tough because there are five or six teams that will fancy their chances, either for the title or being in the top two or three."

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