Michael Carrick explains what Manchester United need in title chase

Michael Carrick says Manchester United cannot get carried away and need to be pushing in the New Year if they are to challenge for the Premier League title.

Six straight wins have got Manchester United dreaming again.

It may only be 18 months since the Red Devils were last toasting a Premier League title success, but a lot has happened in that time.

Sir Alex Ferguson has retired, David Moyes has come and gone, club legend Ryan Giggs has spent time at the helm and Louis van Gaal has accepted his first English challenge at Old Trafford.

There has also been a considerable amount of money spent on fresh faces, with the likes of Marouane Fellaini, Juan Mata, Angel di Maria and Radamel Falcao added to the ranks.

It appears as though things have finally started to settle down for English football’s most decorated club, though, with sets being set considerably higher than last season’s seventh-place finish.

Talk of a potential title challenge has started to circulate, with a return to form underlined by a 3-0 victory over arch-rivals Liverpool on Sunday moving Van Gaal’s men to within eight points of leaders Chelsea.

Michael Carrick is among those to have welcomed the upturn in fortune, but he has also urged caution in a marathon campaign which still has some 22 games to run.

He told United’s official website: "We're always looking up, we always want to get better and reach the top.

“We're in a decent position but we need to stay in touch. If we're up there later in the season we'll have given ourselves a great chance. We want to keep this run going and see where it takes us."

You get the feeling that United could be worth keeping an eye on, given that they have put themselves in contention during another period of instability.

Van Gaal and the new boys have had to find their feet, while injury setbacks have been suffered on a regular basis – particularly at the back.

If the Red Devils can get everyone fit, and if they can take points from crucial clashes against those in and around them, then maybe, just maybe, a 21st top-flight crown will be heading to Old Trafford in May 2015.

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