Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick is “desperate” to end the season with Europa League glory.
Last week’s 1-0 semifinal first-leg win at Celta Vigo puts United in the driving seat heading into the second leg at Old Trafford on Thursday.
Carrick, 35, tasted European success as part of United’s triumphant Champions League side in 2008 and is now targeting a repeat in the Europa League.
“I’m personally desperate to get to the final and to try and win it,” Carrick told UEFA’s official website. “That’s the only thing that matters. Whatever competition you’re in, especially at this club, with the team we’ve got, we’re looking to win it. It’s a great opportunity.
“We’ll respect who is left in the competition — it’s not going to be easy and we’re not taking anything for granted at all — but that’s got to be the aim. There’s nothing else that matters.”
While United have struggled in the Premier League this term, Jose Mourinho could end his first season at the club with two major trophies, having already won the EFL Cup.
“He’s a winner,” Carrick said. “He’s won everywhere he’s been, so that’s almost enough. He’s certainly got the respect of the players and everyone in football because he’s been so successful.
“However he’s done that, you’ve got to look and learn from it. He’s like us — we all want to win and we all want to lift trophies.”
Carrick feels there is also a sense of better things to come under Mourinho.
“He’s leading it, he’s the manager, he’s guiding us through and guiding the club through,” he said.
“There’ve been a lot of positive things to take from this season: the consistency of the team, the general performance. There’s real confidence approaching the end of the season and looking ahead to next season.”
Carrick’s United contract is due to expire this summer, but sources told last month that the club have opened talks over an extension with the midfielder.