After successive wins against Hull and Wigan immediately after Christmas, 2010 looked set to start on a positive note for Sir Alex Ferguson's team.
Instead, it all went calamitously wrong on Sunday when they were bundled out of the FA Cup by League One Leeds United at Old Trafford.
The postponement of tonight's Carling Cup semi-final with Manchester City at Eastlands has prevented the Reds giving the new year a belated kick start.
Providing the snow relents, Ferguson and his men will travel to Birmingham on Saturday to face Alex McLeish's in-form Blues.
And midfielder Carrick knows victory is essential.
"This season has been strange with some odd results," said the England star.
"But it is a vital time. The manager has stressed that to us.
"Although most of us have been here before he has told us how every game becomes more important."
The extra recovery time should mean Nemanja Vidic is available for the trip to St Andrew's after he tweaked a nerve in his leg during the warm-up for Sunday's defeat and opted to pull out.
Source: Manchester Evening News