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The midfielder believes getting through in Europe as quickly as possible will benefit the Red Devils' push towards the top of the Premier League, but urges concentration

Michael Carrick wants Manchester United to qualify for the knockout stage of the Champions League as quickly as possible.

United take on Braga at Old Trafford on Tuesday night in the first of their back-to-back games with the Portuguese side, and Carrick is keen to progress in order to help the Red Devils' domestic campaign.

“It does help the league form if you can get through early,” Carrick told reporters.

“The manager can change things around. He can rest players. He can use the squad and give players game time.

“The pressure is off. He can start planning ahead knowing the next stage is already secure.

“It is not always possible [to qualify before the final game]. Sometimes it can go down to the last game, which in itself is not always a bad thing.  It can be quite tough to judge in the Champions League.

Carrick knows the importance of not underestimating Braga, however, especially following United’s disappointing exit in the group stages of the competition last season following defeat to Basel.

He added: “It isn't necessarily the teams that catch your eye who are the ones that cause you problems.

“You have to respect them for getting to this stage. It is not easy in any league to go through the whole season near the top. They are going to be of a certain standard and we have to match it.”

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