Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick says fatigue is no excuse for their 2-2 draw with FA Cup opponents Chelsea.

Sir Alex Ferguson detected tiredness caused by the physical and emotional energy expended against Real Madrid, even if Carrick would prefer not to rely on that for an explanation of what went wrong.

"It has been a tough week," he said.

"But that is not an excuse. We are used to playing big games at this stage of the season. We want to be playing more because it would mean we had got through.

"We got off to a good start but we just couldn't see it out."