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Man United won’t be celebrating Champions League return, says midfielder

Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick has looked back over the 2014-15 season and admitted that he and his teammates won’t be celebrating their achievements.

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In Louis van Gaal’s first campaign in charge, he started slowly, took his time to find his preferred approach and personnel, but did end up securing a fourth-place finish for the Red Devils.

United could have been aiming higher as they headed into the final furlong of the season, but a three-game losing streak at the end of April and the beginning of May means they will need to qualify for Europe’s elite club competition via the play-off round.

Despite achieving their minimum aim for the campaign, Carrick has acknowledged that neither he nor his teammates will be celebrating their fourth-place finish.

“All in all, we can be satisfied with getting in the top four but it’s not worth celebrating,” he began, speaking to ManUtd.com for the club’s Season Review DVD.

“Hopefully we can do a bit of celebrating next season.

“We had mixed results at the start, picked up for a while, dipped a bit, picked up again and then had another dip,” he continued.

“But there are certainly signs of moving in the right direction and signs of big improvement.”

33-year-old Carrick’s campaign was punctured with injury [via the Guardian], although the central midfielder still managed 18 Premier League appearances, contributing two assists and scoring one goal. The side’s limitations without the England international—they can struggle to control games without his calming midfield presence—demonstrate how valuable he remains for the Red Devils.

Perhaps indicating his own discontent at United’s mixed campaign, Louis van Gaal has wasted little time in refreshing his side’s options during the post-season.

The 20-time English champions have already recruited Memphis Depay [via ManUtd.com], while Radamel Falcao has departed the club following the expiry of his loan stay from AS Monaco [the Press Association via World Soccer Talk].