Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick admits the club have let their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League "slip" after their 3-2 defeat to West Ham United last night (10 May). The Reds gave away a 2-1 lead in the action-packed match in east London and now must rely on Manchester City losing their final game of the season to have any chance of qualifying for Europe's premier club competition.
Although United were outplayed by an inspired Hammers side for large periods of the game, they led late in the second half. Carrick confessed they should have held on to win and boost their Champions League hopes.
"Where we were in the game at 2-1, you would have expected us to go on and win it," he said, according to the club's official website. "We got ourselves in the position and we should have held on. We should have done better. We should have seen the game out, and taken control of the game, but we let them back in it."
The Reds are still two points behind local rivals Manchester City in the pursuit of a top-four finish going into the final game of the season, but the veteran midfielder insisted the United players must not give up hope.
"We have to [stay focused], that's the situation that has presented itself now," he said. "We were in control of it going into the West Ham game but we've let it slip. We have to win our last league game now and then see what happens."
Meanwhile, Carrick praised the performance of United's two-goal hero at Upton Park Anthony Martial, who produced another impressive display to take the Old Trafford club to within touching distance of victory.
The 20-year-old forward − who joined United for £36m ($51.9m), plus bonuses, last summer − has been one of few bright sparks for the Red Devils this season. "He was terrific once again," Carrick reflected. "He's a real threat, isn't he? He's had a terrific season."