Michael Carrick believes that Manchester United have what it takes to move further up the table as the season goes on.
Jose Mourinho’s men, despite winning their first four games, encountered a sharp slump during the early stages of the season, managing just two Premier League wins between September and December.
Man United have mounted something of a resurgence, however, claiming nine successive wins on the trot throughout December and early January.
And Carrick, speaking to MUTV ahead of Saturday’s visit to Stoke City, has insisted that United will continue to improve as the season goes on.
“I tell you what, at this point of the season, to be in all competitions, I’d snap your hand off – that’s where you want to be,” he said.
“There’s no way you complain about playing too many games because playing a lot of games means you’ve got a lot to play for and that’s exactly where we want to be.
“There’s loads to play for this season, challenging on different fronts with different opportunities in different competitions, so it’s where we want to be and we look forward to the end of the season.
“It’s frustrating but, at the same time, in some ways we’ve kept that run going, we’ve kept the momentum and just that makes the Stoke game as big as ever really.
“Five points is not an awful lot [from sixth to second in the table], never mind how long is left of the season. I think we’re right in there. We’ve had a good run, we had a little setback at the weekend but it’s important to get back to winning and getting that run again.”
It has been roundly agreed by both pundits and supporters that, realistically, United cannot claim the title this season, with Antonio Conte’s Chelsea taking up an almost unassailable position at the top of the table.
But this season, despite the fact that it won’t end in the way that post dreamed in August, can still be a success: United are, after all, 90 minutes away from a League Cup final, still in the Europa League and FA Cup, and remain within touching distance – five points, to be exact – of second placed Tottenham Hostpur.