Michael Carrick Says United Should Expect UCL Knockout Round Appearances

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Michael Carrick says that reaching the UEFA Champions League knockout round should be the expected standard, not a superlative goal at Manchester United. Getting to the round of 16, and then beyond, should be annual routine the Red Devils team Captain stated as MUFC will be at Sevilla tomorrow night for the road leg of their knockout round tie.

“It’s what we should expect of ourselves – to be at this stage of the Champions League,” Carrick told MUTV as his club restarts their European campaign Wednesday night.

“That’s not being blase, it’s just that should be our standard. We should be in this competition and fighting in the later stages most years. This is where we belong and, however this year pans out, this has to be the standard year in, year out.”

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“A few years ago, it was relentless,” Michael Carrick continued.

“Every season we had some massive games and we tended to do really well in them and it became quite normal. That’s what we need to get back to, these games feeling quite routine.”

This is the first time United has advanced to the knockout round since 2013-14. From 1996-97 to 2013-14, United reached the knockout stages every single season but one (2005-06). It the late 1990s it became the new normal for United to advance deep in Europe, just like it became the new normal not to after Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

Michael Carrick is expected to retire at the end of the season, and then join Jose Mourinho’s coaching staff next season. Obviously, he would like his teammates to send him out in style, with as much silverware as possible.

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United got a week that is as significant and as consequential as any this season off to a great start with a 2-0 win at Huddersfield Town on Saturday. After the trip to Spain, United will host Chelsea on Sunday in a match that has second place on the line.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and the Tribune company’s blogging community Chicago Now.

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