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Manchester United cannot be content with a top-four finish and must target the Premier League title next season, captain Michael Carrick has said.
The 35-year-old won three league titles in his first three seasons at United and collected two more before long-serving manager Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
“It’s all about winning things,” Carrick told British media on Thursday. “In some ways, it’s winning the league or nothing…I can’t get my head around that – to say top four is acceptable. I know we’ve had changes and adjusted as players have come in and out and you can’t expect to win the league every year, but you’ve got to set out to do that.
“I was obviously fortunate enough to win the league straight away and, having that run we did in my first three years, gives you that taste of ‘Right, it’s all or nothing now’, so maybe I was spoiled in my early years.”
The England midfielder also said that talented players failed at United as they could not handle the intensity of playing for the Old Trafford club.
“I think it has done over the years, we can all see that, there are big players who come here and, for whatever reason, it hasn’t worked for them,” Carrick added.
“They haven’t been able to deal with it. There is a certain level of expectation, standards and scrutiny you probably don’t get elsewhere.”
United beat local rivals Manchester City 2-0 in a pre-season match in the International Champions Cup on Thursday night and will face Spanish champions Real Madrid this weekend.