DAVID Moyes and Michael Carrick hope to give Manchester United supporters some reason to be cheerful for a change tonight.
United fell 14 points off the Premier League pace with defeat at Chelsea on Sunday, their fourth loss from five games in 2014.
Moyes’ men are six points adrift of the Champions League qualification places, but overturning another deficit is of more immediate concern when Sunderland visit Old Trafford tonight with a 2-1 first-leg advantage.
“The fans have been unbelievable over the last month or so especially,” Carrick (pictured) said.
“Times have been difficult. Performances have not been that bad actually but results have been pretty awful for us to take.
“We are giving everything at the minute, it is just not going our way. If we all stick together I am sure it will turn soon. We want to play again as quickly as possible. Tonight is another big game.
“It is an opportunity to get to a final. You can’t take that lightly.”
Moyes added: “We will try and do everything we can to get through.
“I want to give the supporters something to cheer about. There has not been an awful lot. I am fully aware of that.”
Despite seventh-placed United trailing leaders Arsenal, Manchester City and Chelsea by 14, 13 and 12 points, respectively in the league, Carrick is refusing to throw in the towel.
“We just keep going,” Carrick added.
“We don’t want to write anything off at this stage. It is not a position we are used to or accustomed to. We never give up. We will keep fighting. That is what we do.
“We still believe. We have to try and win as many games as we can and see where it takes us.”
Changes are inevitable against Sunderland tonight after Nemanja Vidic earned a three-match ban for his late dismissal for a bad tackle on Eden Hazard and Patrice Evra limped off in the second half.
Moyes might have been contemplating a defensive overhaul anyway after Samuel Eto’o capitalised on United’s shortcomings at the back three times.
“If we are going to give goals away from set-pieces like that it is going to be very hard for us,” Moyes said.
Midfielder Tom Cleverley said: “We can’t let it get our heads down.
“We are not going to feel sorry for ourselves. We have to stand up and be counted.
“We are still confident it will come back and we will come out of the other side of this tough period and be stronger for it. There is too much quality in the squad and we work too hard for it not to.
“We have had to rethink our targets for the year but this club is about winning trophies.
“We are in the semi-final of the cup. If results are poor and performances are below par you are going to take some stick for it.”