Michael Carrick
Michael Carrick returned to action against Manchester City Getty Images/Michael Regan

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick believes Louis van Gaal's side "are going in the right direction" even though "the points suggests that they are not closing the gap" with Chelsea and Manchester City.

Van Gaal's side have registered the club's worst start to a season since 1986/87, sitting 10th in the table, with just 13 points from 10 games, while they were also knocked out from the Capital One Cup as the hands of MK Dons earlier in the season.

Despite a huge summer overhaul, Van Gaal is failing so far to improve on David Moyes' tally, as at this period last season, United had four more points than the current side.

However, Carrick believes there are signs to remain positives.

"When we look at the points total, we are bitterly disappointed with the amount we have got. It's nowhere near good enough for where we want to be. But if you can look deeper than that, there are signs that we certainly believe we are still going to have a good year and a good season, Carrick said to Manchester United's official website.

"It's just little things that aren't going for us and we are making little errors, but overall the feeling is that we are building to be successful and we will be - it's just frustrating at the minute. It's not been a great start but I think the feeling is better than that. Hopefully we can show that in the weeks to come."

After the Premier League giants secured a point against Chelsea, they couldn't avoid a 1-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday 2 November in the Manchester derby.

United are already 13 points behind leaders Chelsea and seven off Manuel Pellegrini's side.

Carrick said: "We've played them both in the last week and points-wise it suggests that we are not [closing the gap].

"But if you look deeper than that, last weekend against Chelsea we felt we deserved the three points. But it's easy to say that and they would probably say the same thing. Against City we felt we deserved more,"

"But we are experienced enough to know points is what you are judged on. It is alright me saying we feel good and positive, but it's up to us in the weeks ahead before Christmas to have a good push and get ourselves back up there again."

When questioned why he still is confident on overcoming the situation, he said: "I think you get a feeling when you are in the squad like I have been over the years. You get a sense around the place.

"Certainly at the moment it's a positive place, we believe we are going in the right direction and we are not far off being where we want to be. It's just little things and those little things make a big difference. Points count. There is a real feeling that we can still do something special."