Michael: It Will Take Time

Michael Carrick says it will take a month or so to get back to full fitness.

"I have had only a couple of weeks, three weeks training with the lads after being out for six months; I am nowhere near match fitness yet and it will take a few games - as it showed on Wednesday," he reveals.

"But I have to keep plugging away and not let things get to me too much - and look to the future.

"The toe problem wasn't a major setback but it would have been nice to have had another week of training and another game in the reserves under my belt.

"But it wasn't to be and I have got used to these setbacks now.

"There are a lot of games coming up so hopefully if I can get involved in all of those it will go somewhere towards getting fully fit.

"I was dead on my feet on Wednesday but hopefully I will be fresh again against Burnley and I will be playing all the time in the weeks to come."

His return has been a boost to the midfield, and he says modestly:

"It is nice if the fans think that way but I am just concentrating on getting fit now; if the other lads think that way then great - but not on Wednesday's performance.

"I know I am not fit so I am not getting too carried away and I am not going to set the world alight straight away; I just have to gradually get fit because it has been a long time.

"Six months is a long time and I know what is required; I am not going to be too disappointed when I know I am not getting in the right positions or doing things on the ball that I know I can do - that will come, I do believe that.

"People are going to be looking at me saying I could have done better or I should have done better, but I know where I am at this stage and I need a few games.

"Hopefully I will be back to my best in a month's time."

As for the players, friends of his, that have left West Ham, he reveals:

"I speak to the lads all the time and Joey started the other day week for the first time - he is just looking forward to getting a few games.

"He was going to come down on Wednesday but he couldn't make it; that will probably happen in the near future and it will be good to see him."

Meanwhile, he says that the change of manager has not affected his preparations ahead of Burnley, and he says:

"It was not really on my mind; I can only speak for myself but I haven't really thought about it, to be honest - you just get on with the job and you just reminded me there," he says.

"I don't take much notice, it is just another game for the lads and we have to get three points.

"Obviously it was not a great night on Wednesday but we are fourth in the table and we would have settled for that - it is not too bad and it gives us something to build on.

"It could be a lot worse though obviously it could be a bit better; but we are only two points off the top which is nothing at this stage of the season.

"We have not played well in any of the games so to be fourth and still not happy with the way we are playing things are looking bright.

"That is the way we are thinking; it has been a bit frustrating because we have been a bit hit and miss, playing in 20 minute spells and letting ourselves down."