Michael Carrick said it is business as usual for Manchester United as the 2011-12 Premier League runners-up look to regain the title.
The 31-year-old midfielder has acknowledged the pain of being pipped to the post in the dying moments of the season by ‘noisy neighbours’ Manchester City on goal difference alone, but insisted United – with the addition of striker Robin van Persie – will come back stronger.
“What happened takes some getting over. It’s not easy. It was a huge blow, the way it happened,” Carrick told reporters.
“Nobody could have predicted that and we never thought it was going to happen like that.
“But we have to get over it now. We’ve had setbacks in the past and we have to move on. That’s the nature of the club and the manager. He’ll be driving us forward to achieve something this season.”
The deep-lying playmaker said Sir Alex Ferguson’s outlook has not changed.
“It was just ‘go again’. Whether we won the league last season or not it’s the same, the same message really,” he said.
“He says ‘you have to start again, start afresh. Last season doesn’t count for anything now, everything is new’ and we’ll look forward to it.”
Carrick suggested it is in the club’s nature to get on with the task in hand, rather than worrying about past failures.
“As a club we do tend to bounce back. If we have a defeat or setback we tend to come back stronger. We can’t forget how close we were. It wasn’t a disaster in terms of how the season went because we had a good season really,” he said.
“We’ll bounce back. We’re strong this year and we’re hungry, not that we wouldn’t have been hungry anyway. It will be a good championship.”
Carrick also expressed his delight at the signing of Robin van Persie, after the 2011-12 Premier League player of the year moved from Arsenal after a protracted transfer saga.
“It’s great news. We want the best players in the club,” he said.
“It’s been well publicised that we’ve been chasing him and it’s a big boost for us. It’s a big week now going into the first game of the season and it will give everyone a big lift.”