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Michael Carrick says United won't be backslapping as the curtain comes down on a glorious 2008, insisting the Reds must immediately gear up for another trophy charge in 2009.

Victory over Middlesbrough on Monday night has put Sir Alex's men well in contention in the title race going into the New Year. Seven points off leaders Liverpool with two games in hand means United are ideally placed to push for a third consecutive Premier League crown.

The turn of the year is normally a time for reflection, but Carrick is only looking forward. “This year has been incredible,†Michael told MUTV. “To be able to set out and achieve everything we wanted to do – winning three major trophies – is very special, something to remember.

“But, as players, we can look back on that at the end of our careers. That's when we take it all in. Now we want to strive to achieve more and more. Hopefully 2009 will be even better.

“We said that if we were in touch with the leaders after Christmas we'd be happy. We've had a funny first half to the season for different reasons. But we're in touch now and it's up to us. If we can keep winning we'll be right in there.â€

United have scored five goals in three of the last 12 matches, but otherwise goals haven't exactly been forthcoming, with three tight 1-0 wins on the bounce. But Carrick remains unperturbed.

“I'd rather have missed chances than none at all,†he added. “We've got the players to put the chances away and I'm sure they'll start flying in for

us. But success sometimes means winning 1-0 in some games. Hopefully we can keep that going.

“We had a spell last season where we were winning 1-0 for five or six games in a row. The wins all count at the end of the season. They can't all be big results. It's not all about scoring three, four, and five.

"For us it's about getting the momentum going and putting a winning run together. We want to build on that in the New Year.

“We've had two tough games against Stoke and Middlesbrough, but we've come through with two wins. Hopefully we can look ahead to a good rest of the season.â€{F9E570E6-407E-44BC-800F-4A3110258114}&newsid=6624484&page=1
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