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The former West Ham player grew up in the north east and is glad the Magpies have had a strong start to the campaign, but is hopeful of scoring against them at Old Trafford

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick admitted he has been surprised with Newcastle United's impressive start to the Premier League season.

The former West Ham player is likely to feature in the centre of the park for the visit of Alan Pardew's side to Old Trafford on Saturday, with the Magpies currently sat fourth in the table.

Carrick grew up in the city and revealed he has been delighted to see Newcastle perform above expectations this campaign.

He told reporters: “If they took a realistic view, even the Newcastle fans couldn't have expected to be where they are right now because they have had such a hard time of it over the last couple of years.

“Obviously they are my home town club and one I watched as a boy. I am glad they are doing well. I hope it lasts as long as it can.”

Despite Newcastle losing for the first time last weekend away to Manchester City, and the north east side set to face Chelsea following this week's clash against the Red Devils, Carrick hasn't ruled out the possibility of the Toon Army maintaining their league position.

“It is a long season,” the midfielder continued. “We have had teams up there in the past and then find it difficult after Christmas.

“But who knows? If they are still up there in January they might bring one or two new players in.”

With injuries to Tom Cleverley and Anderson ruling the duo out until Christmas and February respectively, the 30-year-old is hoping to capitalise on the opportunity to cement his place in the Old Trafford starting XI.

He added: “I am enjoying myself at the minute: I am fit and looking forward to the games ahead.

“It is nice when positive things are said about you, especially by the manager. I am just look to keep my good form going.”

Carrick has often received criticism from fans for his lack of goals, with his barren run now extended to 68 games, with his last Premier League striker coming in the 5-0 victory over Wigan Athletic in December 2009, a stretch the midfielder is keen to end soon.

“I would love a goal,” the former Tottenham midfielder confessed.

“It is not something I am losing sleep over. You are there to do a job for the team in both boxes and in the middle of the park.

“But I try to put myself in positions to score and I certainly wouldn't turn down a goal if it was offered to me.”