The 31-year-old maintained Monday's clash against rival City is not about getting even for last season's 6-1 defeat at Old Trafford or for the last-minute title win.Michael Carrick insists Monday’s derby against Manchester City is not about revenge and maintains Manchester United's title challenge is his main focus.
The Red Devils are 15 points clear at the top of the Premier League with eight games remaining, prompting suggestions that the clash is about seeking retribution for City’s 6-1 victory at Old Trafford as well as its dramatic title-snatching winning goal on the last day of the season.
However, Carrick insists he is only thinking about picking up another league winner's medal and the game against City is just another on the path to the title.
"I honestly don't look at it that way; I just want to see us win the trophy," Carrick told the Times of India. "It's about getting three points each time and ticking each game off. The objective at the start of the season was very clear; to win the league. We went very close last season and hopefully this time we’ll go one step further and win the trophy."
He added, "If you analyze last season properly it wasn't that bad - it just could have been a whole lot better if things had been different in the last minute! It did hurt to lose it and we want it back, that's all. But as a club we always bounce back and we're proving that again."
He credited the signing of top scorer Robin van Persie with the team’s improvement this year and also praised Ryan Giggs for how he had adapted his game to suit his advancing years.
"Obviously signing a player of the quality of Robin van Persie was a big boost for us and he has been excellent," Carrick explained. "Also the younger players have grown and the team has grown during the season as well. It's good to see. We've scored goals and we've won matches and we've shown a lot of character too. After what happened last season that was very important. We all wanted to win the title back.
"Ryan is a one-off player. Not many people have lasted as long as Ryan. It is not just that he is still playing, it is the way he has adapted his game. To be able to do that can't be easy. You have to take it year by year and see how your legs hold up. But going on for that long is a hard thing to do."