Juan Mata dedicates weekly blog to retiring Michael Carrick

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"Manchester United have had a good season in the league in finishing second but it has been inconsistent and they have dipped at times".

This FA Cup title, should they manage to win, will be United's third trophy in two years.

Manchester United's Michael Carrick says he switched "overnight" from being a player to a coach in readiness for Saturday's FA Cup final at Wembley.

"The one under Van Gaal, I wasn't playing, so that was OK - not OK, but reasonable", the 26-year-old said. I thought I wouldn't be fit for the final, then it came and I was, but the manager is probably thinking I had only just come back, could he trust my fitness in a game of that magnitude?

He added: "That Man City game at Old Trafford, you could sense among United fans that they didn't want to play City, because they were going to play them off the park".

"It was an unbelievable reception when I came off", Carrick said of Sunday's match.

He is one of the most impartial and incisive football pundits on television but, away from the Sky Sports cameras, Gary Neville still bleeds Manchester United and, for the rabid red in him, there is considerable discomfort at the nightmare scenario that could yet unfold this season.

"I don't think Michael knows how to play bad", Mourinho said.

He will no doubt be missed as part of the first-team setup but with this new challenge in the career of the one-time Champions League victor, it will be interesting to see if he can take to his new position with the same level of success as he did his last.

"I'm there to give my opinion".

The club is likely to finish second in the Portuguese league standings as they are seven points behind winners FC Porto. "I'm not getting carried away here". It was the final chance to cut the cloth clean. Just because I was a half-decent player, it doesn't guarantee you're going to be a success in whatever you do. "Because I've got things, I'm kind of more excited about the future than looking back and being sad that it's over". "It is not every day you get to play in one of them".