Carrick:let's Crack On

Michael Carrick says it is time to start showing greater consistency in the Premiership.

He insists that thoughts of FA Cup glory must be put to the back of the mind with the Hammers facing two teams below them in the league this week.

"We are at the stage now where we can either push on or stay in the bottom half," he says.

"We really want to be pushing into the top half and even for a European place. If we put a good run of results together to finish the season we have got a chance.

"We don't want to be sitting around mid-table or the bottom half, we want to be kicking on and hopefully improving in the coming months."

Nonetheless, he is delighted that pride was restored at Stamford Bridge on Saturday following the 5-1 drubbing six days earlier.

"It is obviously satisfying to show that we aren't the team that performed the week before," he says.

"We showed, especially in the second half, what we are more capable of - and we could have won it in the end.

"When you let yourself down like that you want to put things right, not just for us, but for everyone else, because it was on the television and you want to get some credibility back.

"That was the way to go about it, especially against the same team, which helps."

Michael admits that the Premiership game against Chelsea a week ago was a difficult one for him, and he explains: "It was my first game in four weeks and I had only trained for one day, so it was straight back in and it was hard to adjust.

"Obviously I wasn't at my best but I couldn't be expected to come back and perform wonders.

"I trained on the Friday but obviously on Fridays you don't do so much. I felt much better for the cup tie at the weekend, though.

He is struggling, however, to come up with an explanation as to why there was such a difference in performance between the two games at Stamford Bridge, and says: "A similar thing happened at Manchester United last year. We played poorly away and got battered, really, then played well in the cup.

"It is hard to put your finger on it, but the FA Cup is a bit more special, there is a bit more atmosphere, and it might bring out more from the lads.

"Chelsea have had a poor week with getting knocked out of the Worthington Cup, and they probably expected to win on Saturday, but hopefully we can turn them over back at Upton Park.

"It has been needing just a little kick start. We are there or thereabouts and we need a couple of results just to push us on again."

Michael insists that thoughts of playing for England are not uppermost in his mind, and he adds: "I haven't really been thinking about England, I have just been getting back fit and thinking about what was a massive game for us on Saturday."

But he admits to sneaking a look at the draw for the European Championships, and says: "I saw the draw and it is a good one - and I see the Scots have got Germany, which is nice!"