Michael Carrick satisfied with Manchester United's start


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The Independent Football

Michael Carrick and his Manchester United team-mates will turn their attention eagerly back to the Champions League today after suffering their third Premier League defeat of the season this weekend.

While Sir Alex Ferguson's side have been shunted off top spot by rivals Manchester City, they have maintained a perfect record in Europe – despite some performances which have been decidedly below-par.

United crashed out of the Champions League at the group stage 12 months ago, but are already safely through to the last 16 of this season's competition after winning their first four games.

With United also a point behind champions City in the Premier League after the 1-0 defeat by Norwich City on Saturday, Carrick is content with how the campaign is going.

"We can be quite satisfied with the position we are in," said Carrick.

"It doesn't mean to say we can take it for granted because we know how much hard work lies ahead of us. But we are in a better position this year than we were last, certainly in the Champions League. It does make things a bit easier but we need to build on what we have got so far."

United face Galatasaray in Turkey tomorrow with the atmosphere in Instabul notoriously intimidating and Carrick added: "You do draw experience from being in different situations before and figuring out what is the best way to handle them. We have had plenty of ups and downs and there will be more of them between now and the end of the season. It is up to us to deal with that and get the consistency to do our best every week."

Wayne Rooney, who missed the trip to East Anglia because of tonsillitis, will have the ankle injury which ruled him out of England's midweek match last week assessed ahead of the trip to Turkey.

In the absence of Rooney, Ferguson admitted that he was disappointed with his side's attacking efforts on Saturday as they failed, for once, to mount a comeback. "We were too long in delaying our crosses. We should have got the ball in earlier," Ferguson said. "We just didn't get into the space behind, it just didn't happen for us."

Champions League: Eye on the opposition

* Galatasaray warmed up for tomorrow's Group H visit of Manchester United with a 3-1 defeat at home by lowly Karabukspor on Friday night.

Fatih Terim's champions went down to their second defeat of the season – and first at home since April – as the visitors led at the interval and full time. Burak Yilmaz equalised Ahmet Ozek's opener for the visitors, before Mehmet Yildiz and Ilhan Parlak secured the points for the visiting side.