United crashed out of the Champions League at the group stage 12 months ago, but are already safely through to the last 16 of this term's competition after winning their first four games.
With United also a point behind champions Manchester City in the Premier League, Carrick is content with how the campaign is going.
"We can be quite satisfied with the position we are in," said Carrick.
"It doesn't mean to say we can take it for granted because we know how much hard work lies ahead of us.
"But we are in a better position this year than we were last, certainly in the Champions League.
"It does make things a bit easier but we need to build on what we have got so far."
United play Galatasaray in Turkey in midweek and Carrick added: "You do draw experience from being in different situations before and figuring out what is the best way to handle them.
"We have had plenty of ups and downs and there will be more of them between now and the end of the season.
"It is up to us to deal with that and get the consistency to do our best every week."