Middlesbrough Boss Sets Ambitious Target

After missing out on the play-offs by a mere four points, better will be expected of Middlesbrough next term and after a strong end to the season, there’s plenty to be positive about.

Michael Carrick’s men would lose just one of their last 13 games, that being a 4-3 thriller to Leeds United, who have now made the Championship play-off final. After a disappointing start, Boro looked like one of the strongest sides in the league towards the end and the manager will be hoping to harness that energy to make a good start next season.

Nonetheless, they would still miss out on their goal of promotion and wouldn’t even make the play-offs. It could be considered a slightly backwards step for the club, who finished fourth the season prior.

They’ll be hopeful of bouncing back next season and there’s a good chance of that with Carrick at the helm. He’ll be in for a busy summer from a recruitment standpoint as he tries to get the players in to challenge at the top of the table.

Ambitious Championship managers like the former Manchester United Player no doubt look at the teams coming down from the Premier League as direct rivals. After just one season in the top flight, Burnley and Sheffield United will be returning to the second tier after seriously struggling in the Premier League and Luton Town’s relegation is now all but confirmed which could mean that the promotion picture is wide open.

Those three clubs do however receive quite the financial boost due to the parachute payments from the league. Looking at this season’s promotion picture, two of last year’s relegated teams, Leicester City and one of Southampton or Leeds United will be making an immediate return to the Premier League signifying the benefit of the financial support they receive.

Middlesbrough are therefore at a disadvantage but Michael Carrick still believes his side can contend at the top regardless. Speaking to The Northern Echo, Carrick emphasised that even with a financial disadvantage, his team will be battling at the top next season.

“We want to win and we want to get out of the league. Money is money, but it certainly not everything. Money can’t buy happiness and it can’t always buy you out of a football league, as has been proven countless times.

“Yeah, we’ve got to be realistic and I understand where we are in terms of that. But it doesn’t mean we can’t do it. We certainly believe we can, and we certainly believe it’s possible. You’ve got to do a lot of good work in so many different ways to make that a reality, but without doubt, it’s something we’re striving for.

“It’s proven pretty much every year. Some teams will over-perform and some will over-perform and punch above their weight financially. That’s just natural.

“We know what we’re competing against, but at the same point, if we get our work right – whether that’s recruitment, whether that’s coaching, whether that’s just creating a right environment and looking after players a certain way – we feel that we can be successful.”

Writer’s View

Ipswich Town being a surprise package may have been the only thing to stop all three relegated sides making immediate returns to the top flight and there are obvious advantages through parachute payments which the relegated Premier League sides hold.

However Leicester, Leeds and Southampton looked in a far better state than that of Luton, Burnley and Sheffield United which could lead to a rather open Championship next season.

Middlesbrough will be expected to be in the promotion conversation and if the last couple of months are anything to go by, then they have a great chance. Getting the recruitment spot on will boost their chances and they’re certainly one to watch out for next term.

About Ivan Newsome 541 Articles
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