Carrick Carrying On

Michael Carrick insists there will be no easing up in the last four games of the season - whether he is going to the World Cup or not.

"We got three wins in a row and to not get beaten away on Saturday was a good effort, but we have to carry that on against Sunderland next and get the three points," says Michael, who played for England U21s against Portugal midweek.

He has, of course, missed six weeks following a groin operation, and he adds:

"I felt a bit tired towards the end at Spurs but I am near enough there, and I had another game under my belt for the U21s on Tuesday."

He has not ruled out hopes of making Sven-Goran Eriksson's final 23 and says:

"If you are playing well you have always got a chance and it is up to me; if I'm playing well enough I might get a shout."

Michael is determined to keep the four match unbeaten run intact against Sunderland this weekend, and he says:

"If we finish well hopefully that will give us the confidence to push on next season, but if we finish on a low we might start next season on a low, so we need to keep it going for the last four games - starting with Sunderland on Saturday.

"The way you finish the season gives you a lift over the summer and if we can get that seventh spot there will be a bounce in us when we return."

Of the point at White Hart Lane, he adds:

"It was a hard game but we dug in there, kept battling away, and didn't give up; it would have been harsh if we had not got a point.

"We defended quite well and it took something special from Pearcey to get us the draw, but sometimes you have got to take that; at the start of the game we would have settled for a point and we are delighted that it stopped them going above us.

"He used to play centre forward but I don't think he'll be going back up there permanently - and it doesn't matter who scores, anyway!"

With a draw and a win away signalling something of an improvement in the away fortunes of late, Michael nonetheless insists the players were not travelling with trepidation earlier in the season, and he explains:

"To be honest, the lads have been confident all the way but it just hasn't happened; but we have proven people wrong in the last two away games."