Champions League: Michael Carrick insists Manchester United will not let themselves down in Europe this year

By Mancunian Matters staff

As Manchester United wait to find out where their Champions League travels will take them, midfielder Michael Carrick has insisted the Reds will not let themselves down this season.

The draw for the group stages of Europe’s premier competition takes place in Monaco this afternoon with United in Pot One, which in theory presents them with an easy passage into the knockout rounds.

However, United were in a similar situation last season and while even Sir Alex Ferguson accepted the Reds should have advanced, they crumbled in their final match in Basle and crashed out of the competition before Christmas.

Carrick, understandably, is keen to avoid a repeat of that this season.

“We let ourselves down as a squad last season,” he said. “We won’t be taking our eye off the ball at all.

“We want to be in the latter stages and fighting for the trophy.

“But we know the work has to be done now. Hopefully we’ve learnt from last season and can have much better campaign.”

Purely on geographical grounds, Sir Alex Ferguson will be looking to avoid the likes of Zenit St Petersburg, Shakhtar Donetsk and BATE Borisov.

However, Juventus and cash-rich Paris St Germain are very dangerous opponents from Pot Three and Ferguson will be just as keen to sidestep them as well.

But no matter who they get, Carrick believes their results at Old Trafford hold the key.

“Our home form was very disappointing last season,” he said.

“You need your home form to be terrific to give you the base to progress.

“Over the years it’s been good and we’ll be looking to put that right this time because we don’t want what happened last year to happen again.”

Manchester City, Chelsea, Arsenal and Celtic will also be in this afternoon’s draw, which is due to take place from 4.45pm.

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