Key conversations Michael Carrick had with Middlesbrough players as futures already decided

Head coach Michael Carrick of Middlesbrough looks on
Head coach Michael Carrick of Middlesbrough looks on -Credit:Greig Cowie/REX/Shutterstock

Michael Carrick will have further talks with Middlesbrough players about future development when they return for pre-season training - but the key conversations regarding players' futures at the club took place before the final game of the season against Watford.

With Boro heading into that game knowing it would be their last of the season, the club were able to finalise plans on their current squad for next season. As such, Carrick was able to discuss with those players not being retained next season why that was the case.

It's why, despite the club not yet officially releasing its retained list, so many decisions are already known, with Paddy McNair and Joe Gibson already taking to social media to announce they're leaving the club at the end of the contracts this summer. As was hinted in social media interaction between the players too, loan men Sam Greenwood, Lewis O'Brien and Luke Thomas are not part of Boro's planning for next season either.

READ MORE: Middlesbrough make transfer decisions on loan men Sam Greenwood, Lewis O'Brien and Luke Thomas

Asked about conversations to take place after the Watford game, Carrick said: “That’s it for the boys today. They’re done now for the summer. I’m not particularly one for big formal one-to-one meetings with players, but certainly there are ongoing communications with the boys.

"A lot of the big decisions have been made internally and it’s more just a case of when is the right time to announce them publicly. We’ve spoken to them a lot throughout the week before the Watford game too. It’s not really a new message for them though, it was one that just continued throughout the season.

"Certainly, I did speak to one or two who maybe needed a little more help or who had maybe missed a little more than they’d hoped. Every individual’s situation is different. There were conversations about when they come back from the summer break about the plan going forward - who needs to rest, who needs to work, who needs to come back in a certain way.

"That’s part of the excitement of starting again in the summer. The work and the planning doesn’t really stop, and it’s what we enjoy because we’re striving for success and we’re hungry for more."

Carrick's style is in contrast to his predecessor. Following a final-day defeat at Preston North End which ultimately meant Boro failed to make the play-offs, Chris Wilder had his Boro squad in on the following Monday for individual season debriefs where their futures at the club were ultimately spelled out. Carrick preferred a less-formal approach, with more conversations with certain players likely when the players reconvene at Rockliffe at the end of the June for the start of pre-season.