Middlesbrough’s head coach, Michael Carrick’s three-word Middlesbrough message ahead of the Carabao Cup semi-final draw…

In preparation for the Carabao Cup semi-final draw, Middlesbrough’s head coach, Michael Carrick, delivered a concise yet impactful message to his players at Port Vale, urging them to seize the significant opportunity before them. While acknowledging that his team may be considered underdogs in the upcoming semi-final, Carrick maintains an optimistic outlook, stating that “anything can happen.”

The journey to the League Cup’s last four for Boro was secured through a convincing 3-0 victory over Port Vale, a performance and outcome that delighted Carrick. Despite being two decades removed from Boro’s historic 2004 Carling Cup triumph, Carrick emphasized that he didn’t feel the need to draw inspiration from that success. Instead, he shared the pre-match message he conveyed to the players, highlighting the motivation inherently present in reaching a cup semi-final.

Carrick pointed out the unique significance for veteran player Jonny Howson, who, after 17 years as a professional, was experiencing his first semi-final. The coach emphasized the importance of seizing such opportunities when they arise in a player’s career and commended the team for energetically embracing the moment.

In terms of personal satisfaction, Carrick downplayed his role, expressing that leading Boro to their first semi-final since 2004 is more about the joy he derives from seeing the players, staff, and supporters experience a sense of achievement. His focus is on guiding and aiding the team, emphasizing the pleasure he derives from witnessing the players perform at their best and the supporters enjoying the journey.

The impending semi-final opponent for Boro will be determined in the draw, with Liverpool and West Ham competing for the last spot alongside Chelsea and Fulham. Carrick remains pragmatic about the challenges ahead, recognizing the two-legged nature of the semi-final and the competitive spirit of the remaining teams. Despite the potential perception of Boro as the preferred opponents, Carrick sees the opportunity as significant and emphasizes the team’s commitment to giving their all.

Prior to the semi-final, Carrick acknowledges a series of crucial Championship games, underscoring the need for his players to swiftly refocus on the upcoming challenges. He expresses confidence in the team’s attitude and character, praising their dedication even in the face of injuries that necessitated tactical adjustments. Looking ahead to the upcoming Championship fixture, Carrick emphasizes the importance of maintaining a high standard of performance in what he describes as a “big, big game” on Saturday.


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