·21 January 2023
·21 January 2023
Michael Carrick is enjoying a dreamlike start to his first job in management, having guided Middlesbrough from the relegation zone to dreaming of a return to England’s top flight.
Middlesbrough are currently fourth in the Championship and although a top-two finish looks to be out of reach, Carrick has allowed the club’s supporters to start dreaming of a return to the Premier League for the first time since they were relegated in 2017.
Their next obstacle is 10th-placed Sunderland, who have been inspired by United loanee Amad Diallo this season. The young Ivorian has been one of the Championship’s outstanding players and ahead of the game, Carrick has praised the winger after working with him at Old Trafford.
“Sunderland are a very good team and have a very good forward line,” Carrick told Teesside Live. “I know Amad very well from United. He’s a terrific footballer and seems to have jumped up a level again from the start of the season.
“His performances have improved and he is a threat. Not just Amad though, right across the frontline Sunderland have really good individuals who can change games at any moment and cause you problems.
“That’s why they’re up there at the moment and they are a danger. That’s a challenge, of course, but it’s one we’re ready for and we’re looking forward to the game.”
SN’s verdict… United fans may be watching this weekend’s clash between Middlesbrough and Sunderland with a keen eye as Amad’s fine form hopefully continues.
It would be brilliant to see Carrick bring Middlesbrough back to the Premier League. His brief tenure as caretaker manager following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer proved that Carrick has a promising career in coaching ahead of him.
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