Carrick: Midfield must step up
Michael Carrick believes Manchester United's players need to take collective responsibility for trying to replace Paul Scholes. Sir Alex Ferguson has already spoken of the difficulties involved in finding an alternative to a player he regards as one of the best he has ever worked with. The United boss has played down the potential for signing Inter Milan's Wesley Sneijder as a replacement, while Tottenham's Luka Modric and Arsenal's Samir Nasri appear bound for elsewhere. Carrick accepts even if Ferguson is successful in landing a target, it would be impossible to carry out the playmaking role completely. And the England midfielder feels the best way of overcoming Scholes' departure is for everyone to do their bit. "Losing a player like Paul is a loss - he brings so much to the team," said Carrick in an exclusive web chat on United's official website. "He was a world-class player, so you have to compensate in other ways. "We have done that in the past - we lost Cristiano Ronaldo a few years ago and people didn't think we'd get over it. "But different players step up - maybe it is not one player but we share the responsibility." It has certainly been a summer of change at Old Trafford. Along with Scholes, Edwin van der Sar has followed Gary Neville into retirement. Owen Hargreaves has been released while Wes Brown and John O'Shea have gone to Sunderland. All six are in their 30s, triggering a massive regeneration that leaves Carrick one of the elder statesmen, with five years' service under his belt. Still, it has done nothing to shake the 29-year-old's confidence that United can become the first club to win a 20th title next May. "We are always confident, especially after winning the league," he said. "The manager always strengthens when he feels it is right and in positions he feels need strengthening. "We trust him totally with that and we believe we have a chance this season."
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