Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has claimed that Tuesday's derby clash against Manchester City doesn't matter.
ESPN reports how the 32-year-old made the sensational assertion with a focus on the bigger picture of the defending champions' season, saying that even a comprehensive victory would not be enough to repair the damage of a disappointing 2013/14 campaign.
"I don't think it [the derby] matters," he said. "It's just another game for us; a big game but it's not going to repair any of the damage that's been done in recent months by us losing games."
The Red Devils have endured a difficult start to life in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era, with David Moyes struggling to make a seamless transition since succeeding him at Old Trafford.
Despite back-to-back wins against Olympiakos and West Ham, which has boosted morale significantly around the club, Manchester United still find themselves in a lowly seventh place in the Premier League table, and face the prospect of a quarter-final exit in the Champions League, having been handed the hardest possible tie against holders Bayern Munich.
"Beating City would help us in terms of keeping our run going," Carrick continued. "We understand the fans and the result they want and for us as players it's exactly the same, but we're still not getting carried away because of the season we've had.
"Losing against Liverpool at home hurts badly. We're well aware of what those games mean to everyone and, believe me, it means the same to the players.
"It was a bad day for us and we suffered just as much as the fans. It's horrible after a game like that. The dressing room was as you'd expect, really.
"We were very disappointed and frustrated. You don't watch the telly or leave the house for a couple of days if you can help it."
Manchester United returned to domestic action at Upton Park on Saturday, and followed up their 3-0 victory in Europe with a 2-0 win against West Ham, courtesy of two goals from stand-in skipper Wayne Rooney.
Carrick was deployed in an unfamiliar centre-back role alongside Phil Jones, and dealt well with the commanding presence of Andy Carroll, to help secure three more valuable points for Moyes' side.
"When you're at this club and things aren't going well it's not always a nice place but mentally you have to deal with it," concluded the England international. "I think we've all had a tough time this season.
"You suffer from those results just like everybody else. Thankfully, we had a game to look forward to pretty quickly so that helped to give us something else to focus on."
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