Michael Carrick insists external views of Manchester United football club count for little, and says that the players are fully focused on retaining their Barclays Premier League title this season.

A 6-1 mauling at the hands of local rivals Manchester City earlier in the campaign, twinned with shock exits from the UEFA Champions League and Carling Cup has seen Sir Alex Ferguson's side come into criticism.

But after yesterday's 5-0 win over Wigan Athletic, the Red Devils moved level on points with their noisy neighbours, confirming their place at the heart of the title race.

Carrick is adamant that his teammates have been unaffected by building pressure outside of Old Trafford, and reveals that the squad as a whole possesses thick enough skin to cope with all comments, positive and negative.

"Keep criticising, we don't mind," the 30-year-old told Sky Sports News. "Since I've been here we've had it at some stage every year, and more or less we've had good seasons.

"We'll keep doing what we're doing. We know the potential here and how well we're playing of late, and we'll just keep doing the things we know best and hopefully that'll be enough."

United have now scored ten goals in their last two games without conceding a single goal, meaning they have also significantly cut City's goal-difference advantage.

"That was on our mind at half-time [against Wigan]," added Carrick. "We wanted to keep going, we didn't want things to fizzle out as they can do sometimes when you're a couple of goals up against 10 men and they sit back.

"It was a different game in the second half but we just kept plugging away, kept going and we're obviously delighted with 5-0."

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms