Middlesbrough: Michael Carrick’s play-off message to Boro fans
Carrick was undeterred by the night’s efforts by Coventry fans and laughed at suggestions there might be a backlash from Boro fans outside a Teesside hotel tonight.
Instead, he’s just concentrating on what’s happening at the Riverside – and the head coach says fans have a crucial role to play tomorrow night as Boro targets a date at Wembley Stadium.
“Like I said, after the game I just laughed and fell asleep again,” Carrick said of his fireworks alarm in the middle of the night.
“Fans are fans and they want to create the atmosphere. For me it’s about creating an atmosphere in the stadium and creating an energy that the boys can benefit from.”
“Obviously we will prepare and plan and go into the game as best we can, but we cannot escape the fact that the fans can add that extra adrenaline and spark and it’s important to give us that extra boost. I’m sure the boys will feed on it and respond very well to it.
Less than 24,000 spectators attended the 0-0 draw with Huddersfield in October, the last game before Carrick’s appointment. But with Boro’s rise so has viewership and the Riverside atmosphere is sure to be sizzling tomorrow night.
Carrick has consistently praised fans since his arrival and has a message for fans ahead of tomorrow’s second leg: Boro wants to build on the first-leg draw.
“We hope it works,” he said.
“I expect it to be loud, and then the boys have to draw on it. Then it’s up to us to give back and reward. As I said, it won’t be easy because they are a good team.” But we’re looking forward to it.
“My message would be to just bring more of the same. By seeing their reactions in the past, I know how they react to it and how they feed on it. All I would ask is that there be more of this – come and be as loud and enthusiastic as you can be. It really makes a difference.
Carrick slept through Saturday night’s fireworks and will have no trouble putting his head down tonight ahead of such a big game.
“I generally sleep well,” he says.
“Sometimes it’s hard after the games, especially in the evenings. I always slept particularly well before the games. When I was a player it was even worse because there was a little bit more adrenaline going through the body. But most of the time since I became a player manager, I sleep pretty well.
Carrick is relaxed and so are his players.
The head coach has no qualms about his side’s ability to handle tomorrow’s game as Boro.
“The mood is good,” he said.
“It’s a game out of the way and we said it was basically a game even if it was two first legs.”
“But part of that is now out of the way and it’s a clean slate and a fresh start. We’ve played twice now and both were draws, so obviously it’s close. We are looking forward to it.”
“To be honest, it’s pretty normal in terms of the training ground and the guys’ performance. You know you don’t need to motivate them, but you wonder if you need to weaken them a little at some point. But the guys have done really well all week.”
https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/sport/23523781.middlesbrough-michael-carricks-play-off-message-boro-supporters/?ref=rss Middlesbrough: Michael Carrick’s play-off message to Boro fans