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The England international is gearing up to get back in shape for the new campaign, and is excited by the prospect of travelling to Asia and meeting fans

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick is eyeing a productive pre-season ahead of the Red Devils' 2013-14 title defence.

The 31-year-old believes building up fitness and staying injury free is “vital” to ensuring the squad hit the ground running in August.

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“A good pre-season gives you that base you need to keep going throughout the season,” Carrick told the club's official website.

“If you miss pre-season, you have to play catch-up. Every player is different - some can come back [from the summer break] and get straight back into it but others take a bit more time.

“I think it’s a vital part of the year – it’s important to get through pre-season and steer clear of injuries and be ready for the games at the start of the campaign.”

The Old Trafford outfit travel to Asia as part of their preparations, and Carrick is blown away by the support for United in the region.

“It’s crazy. One of the reasons I enjoy going there is just to see the reaction of the fans,” Carrick continued.

“It can take you back a little bit sometimes – even though they live a long way from Manchester the reaction the people give us is amazing.”

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