When life was better: Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring against Wigan with Michael Carrick
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 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.
Confident: Manchester United's Michael Carrick isn't panicking despite his side's winless start to the decade
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,' said Fabbri.
'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.'
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