Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has revealed just how much it hurt him and his teammates to not be playing European football last year.
Man United missed out on both the Champions League and Europa League after finishing seventh in the Premier League in the 2013/2014 season.
It was a huge blow for the club and it’s fans, as United had to go through a second successive trophyless season without Champions League football.
The supporters definitely suffered as a result, and Carrick has now said it affected the players as well.
When asked if the Champions League had missed United, Carrick said: “Maybe. I think, sitting here now, if one of the other big teams wasn’t in it then perhaps it wouldn’t quite feel the same.
“But you’ve got to earn the right to be in it and you must deserve to be there. We missed it badly as a club last year and, as players, we missed it a lot too.”
United already face a tough task to qualify for the knockout stages of the Champions League this year. Having lost their first game away to PSV Eindhoven, the Reds are desperate for a win at home to Wolfsburg. United are in a tricky group but Carrick does not want to dwell on the draw.
He added: “You can look it at in a number of ways. To be honest, I think you can spend too much time thinking about it. At the end of day, that’s the group we’ve been given and we have got to back ourselves to go through. They are going to be tough games for different reasons but that is what the Champions League is for – to test yourself against the best in tough conditions. We’ll be ready for that.”
The midfielder will miss the Wolfsburg game at Old Trafford having picked up an injury but he will be hoping his teammates can get the job done. It is hugely important that United get all three points against the Germans, as anything but a win leaves them with an uphill task to qualify from their group.
Since losing to PSV, United have won three games on the bounce, scoring nine goals in the process and are showing signs of becoming a top class team. They will hope they can carry their good form into Europe and take a big step towards the next round of the Champions League.