Michael Carrick

Manchester United star Michael Carrick has admitted that the Premier League champions are by no means at their best after the poor start to the season under David Moyes.

The former Everton boss has endured a poor start to the campaign since replacing Sir Alex Ferguson earlier in the summer. The Old Trafford club are eight in the table with 14 points from nine games, trailing league leaders Arsenal by eight points and fourth place Tottenham Hotspur by five points.

United won their last league fixture 3-2 against Stoke City as Moyes saw his men come back on two occasions to seal three points at home. Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez were all on the scoresheet and Carrick insists there is still room for improvement.

"We've been saying for a number of weeks when we've had a good result we have to kick on and get back to our normal selves," Carrick said, as quoted by Sky Sports.

"We've still got a way to go, we're not kidding ourselves. We've had a couple of good results but by no means are we at our best - we're not in bad shape but there's more to come."

"There's no point looking at the table at the moment. Obviously we're aware of the situation but there's no point going over it in your head thinking 'what if', we've just got to concentrate on getting the wins and see where that takes us," the midfielder added.

Moyes introduced United's young talent Adnan Januzaj, who replaced Luis Nani in the second half. The 18-year-old had an impact on the course of the game as he was successful in making troubling Stoke's defenders.

United were trailing 2-1 only until Rooney and Hernandez's goals in quick succession saw the Red Devils escape defeat at Old Trafford. The former Spurs midfielder believes the result was crucial for Moyes and his men as they had no choice but to win the league tie against Stoke.

"It's the character we have - it was a vital game to win. We didn't really have a choice, we had to find a way and we kept going and believing and ended up finding that win," Carrick stressed.