Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick heaped praise on the application and attitude of his teammates after grinding out a hard-fought victory at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s side left it late to clinch a vital 1-0 victory over a battling Bolton Wanderers performance when leading scorer Dimitar Berbatov sealed the points with an 88th minute winner.

The early Old Trafford jitters left the crowd even more nervy than usual after United defender Jonny Evans was sent off for a horror challenge on Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden midway through the second half.

That left the Red Devils facing an already difficult task a man light, which compounded the situation as United struggled to break down Owen Coyle’s resolute tactics.


"You have to keep believing and trusting each other," Carrick said. "Experience helps because we have done it a few times before.

"Going into the last five minutes you keep telling each other to be patient and that a chance will come. Then it is about putting it away."

And put it away Berbatov did, with the Barclays Premier League leading scorer notching his 20th league goal of the campaign to give Manchester United another important three points.

They now sit five points clear at the top of the table, and Carrick believes Saturday’s result means United are still on course for success in all three domestic and European fronts they are still currently challenging for.

"At the start of the season we set out to try and ensure every game would be big at this stage.

"We wanted to be involved in all the competitions and we have achieved that, which shows we are doing something right.

"It is hard to say how significant this day will be at this point in the season but it does feel like a big result."

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