The shutout was just a third of the Premier League season for Sir Alex Ferguson's side, who have frequently had to come from behind to rescue points this campaign.
And despite holding a one-point lead at the top of the table, Carrick knows United need to improve, with the derby against second-placed Manchester City looming on 9th December.
Carrick said in The Sun ahead of Saturday's game at Reading: "We got the clean sheet and it is something to build on, because the performance needs to be better.
"It was far from a classic. We were not at our best and the free-flowing football we want to play didn't quite happen.
"We had a spell, about a year or two ago, when we were starting games really well and killing teams off really early.
"We want to get back to that, because Old Trafford is a difficult place to play when you go a goal down.
"We want to make it that way, because going a goal down has made things a lot harder for us than they should have been.
"Keeping a clean sheet gives us something to build on in the future, that's the biggest positive we can take."