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Ferguson: Carrick big influence on Man Utd resurgence

Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is delighted with the current form of Michael Carrick.

Carrick bagged his first goal in almost two years to cap another superb display at QPR last weekend, and Sir Alex expects sustainment of those standards for the forseeable future.

"Michael's been one of our best players," the boss told his pre-Wigan press conference. "He's been instrumental in what's happening to the team at the moment. He's grabbed the nettle - there's no question about that. In some ways, he's maybe seen the departure of Paul Scholes as his opportunity to be the main man in midfield.

"I think it's time Michael became the pivotal player of our team. We've always known he's got that in him. He's a laidback character - quiet, unassuming - but in different periods during his time here he's shown his quality. Now is the time for him to start a long period of dominating the centre of midfield like he has in the last few weeks.

"I was quite surprised when I heard that statistic [not scoring for 70 games before last weekend]. But he is quick, you know. You don't see that often because we ask him to control midfield rather than venture too far. But he's quick and he showed that in the goal he scored against Queens Park Rangers."

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