Carrick eager to get back to winning ways
Michael Carrick knows Manchester United need to hit the winning trail again once they manage to re-start their campaign.
After successive wins against Hull and Wigan immediately after Christmas, 2010 looked set to start on a positive note for Sir Alex Ferguson's team.
Instead, it all went calamitously wrong on Sunday when they were bundled out of the FA Cup by League One Leeds United at Old Trafford.
The postponement of tonight's Carling Cup semi-final with Manchester City at Eastlands has prevented the Red Devils giving the new year a belated kick start.
Providing the snow relents, Ferguson and his men will travel to Birmingham on Saturday to face Alex McLeish's in-form Blues.
And midfielder Carrick knows victory is essential.
"This season has been strange with some odd results," said the England star.
"But it is a vital time. The manager has stressed that to us.
"Although most of us have been here before he has told us how every game becomes more important."
The extra recovery time should mean Nemanja Vidic is available for the trip to St Andrew's after he tweaked a nerve in his leg during the warm-up for Sunday's defeat and opted to pull out.
That move only fuelled speculation about Vidic's future, even though the defender has always publicly stated his desire to remain at United.
Real Madrid are the latest club to be linked with the Serbian, with the suggestion that the Spanish giants might want to do a deal this month, even though Vidic would be ineligible for the Champions League.
However, Vidic's agent Paolo Fabbri has tried to play down such talk.
"I am quite surprised by all these rumours, the situation is under control and is not unusual," Fabbri told ESPN Soccernet.
"As far as I know the player is not negotiating with any other club.
"Regarding the mood of the player, I think it is standard. I have not spoken to him since the last defeat, but as far as I know there is no problem."
Latest in Sport
Manchester United's best XI of the season so far: No place for Angel Di Maria or Juan Mata
Hector Bellerin opens up on switch from Barcelona to Arsenal
WrestleMania 31 results: Seth Rollins stuns WWE as he cashes in Money in the Bank contract to claim title from Brock Lesnar
WrestleMania 31: What time does it start? Full match card and preview ahead of WWE event
WrestleMania 31: Undertaker begins a new streak after tombstoning Bray Wyatt
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Germanwings plane crash: Video shows co-pilot Andreas Lubitz learning to fly as a teenager
- 3 Vladimir Putin says Russia will fight for the right of Palestinians to their own state
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew