Michael Carrick urges Middlesbrough to take nothing for granted
Michael Carrick has urged Middlesbrough to take nothing for granted after closing the gap to Sheffield United following a 3-1 win at Swansea.
With the Blades being beaten by Luton, Boro closed to within four points of second place, leading to taunts from the visiting support towards their promotion rivals.
“I can’t hide from the fact of what our league position is but it can’t affect how we go into the games,” said Boro boss Carrick after seeing his side make it seven wins in their last eight games.
“Of course, as the season goes, games grow in importance, but we have to be clear minded about our performances.
“We’ve been playing a certain way that has worked for us most of the time, but we can’t take anything for granted. We’re certainly not being blase about anything.
“There’s not much to change about our approach, it’s just about becoming better. We were calm and composed today, we stuck at it and believed, and that’s going to be key from now to the end of the season.
“We’ve got great togetherness and spirit within the group which we saw here (against Swansea). They made my job at half-time very easy and I didn’t really have to say a lot. They knew what they had to do and they stuck at it.”
For Russell Martin’s Swansea side, it was a sixth defeat in their last eight Championship games and they remain stuck in 17th, two places lower than he finished in his first season at the club last year.
“It’s really frustrating but I’m pleased with so much of what I saw against a top side. We scored a goal with really high quality and got a second which I’m still not convinced is offside, it’s such a tight call,” said Martin.
“At 2-0 it would have been a completely different game, but we don’t manage the game well enough after that, which sums up where we’re at.
“They had a lot of the ball in the first half. They’re a good team with a lot of athleticism and good players.
“We knew it’d be a tough game and that there’d be times we’d have to suffer without the ball and work really hard, which the lads did.
“We looked dangerous on the turnover and we actually started the second half better than we played in the first half. But we didn’t manage the game well enough after that.
“We conceded from a counter-attack from our corner and a second phase from their corner which kind of sums up where we’re at really.
“At 2-1, we were so in it. They posed a real threat on the counter-attack in the second half, but then we go to ground in the box and give a penalty away and it took the whole energy out of the game.
“The crowd were great today, but that third goal took the atmosphere and energy out of the players and the crowd and that was the game done.”
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