Michael: It's Getting Tight

Michael Carrick believes that the relegation battle has become a case of 'three from four' - and is determined that West Ham is the odd one out of the quartet.

"The lads have been positive throughout the season but it is getting harder and harder when you don't get results," he admits.

"But we still believe we are going to get out of it; there are four teams down there and if we finish fourth bottom we'd settle for that.

"There is a gap and unless someone gets really dragged into it, it looks as if it is from those four teams."

Michael says it is no use just blaming the defence for goals conceded, and insists the whole side takes responsibility.

"We are letting too many goals in," he confesses, "but it is a collective thing, and not just about the back four - you have to defend as a team, and we haven't been doing that.

"The players, the staff, and everyone at the club are concerned, and we know what is required - but everyone has got to stay positive and stick by us because we need everyone to stick together at this time."

As for the weekend trip to Old Trafford, he says:

"It is the cup so it is a bit special - nothing to do with the league but a big game with nothing to lose.

"Hopefully we can get something out of the game like when we won a couple of years ago up there, but they bare a quality side and when they are at their best they are hard to live with.

"But if we are at our best hopefully we can nick a result - you just have to get your head down and play like you know you can play - and then see what happens."

And he ends on an optimistic note, concluding:

"The squad is looking quite strong now; we have had a lack of forwards in recent months but everyone is coming back now and hopefully that will give us that final push."