Michael Carrick explains why he had no hesitation in signing a new Middlesbrough contract

Michael Carrick head coach of Middlesbrough
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


Michael Carrick says everything about Middlesbrough still feels like the right fit for him, as he explained why he committed to the club and signed a new contract this summer.

With just 12 months remaining on his previous deal, Carrick offered Boro a huge boost ahead of the new season and summer transfer window by signing a new three-year deal at the Riverside. It means he is contracted to the club until the end of June 2027 and removes any doubt that he could leave the club this summer amid potential interest as many clubs are changing head coaches right now.

While Carrick has not been seriously mentioned among any of the vacancies around England's top two flights so far this summer, it's understood that's more do with the fact that Carrick was happy at Boro and expected to sign a new deal this summer, as opposed to lack of interest in taking him from the Riverside.

Read more: Transfers and more - Seven ways Michael Carrick's new contract is massive for Middlesbrough

But having committed to Boro, he explained in his first club interview after the deal: “There’s something you just feel in your gut, your instinct, your feeling. It’s hard to really explain what exactly that it is, but I’m sure everyone knows that feeling when you just feel good about something.

"I’d say I’m comfortable here, but not comfortable as in relaxed comfortable where the attitude is, ‘this is nice, we can all sit back and have a nice time’. It’s a comfort in knowing and trusting the people around you. I’m really big on having people around you that you trust, and being in it for the right reasons. That gives you a comfort, knowing that we’re in it together.

"Being from the North East and understanding the culture, there’s certainly a big attachment there for me as well. It just fits - for whatever reason, it just fits. We’ve done alright so far but we certainly want more. We want to keep improving and the future is exciting.”

That gut feeling is something Carrick spoke about when first taking the Boro reins in October 2022. He'd left his role as Manchester United assistant just shy of 12 months prior and had turned down a few offers before agreeing to take control on Teesside.

The fact that, almost two years later, he has signed a new deal is a sign of his belief in the direction that the club are heading in. That's an important factor behind why Boro were so keen to keep him too, having experienced how disruptive it can be when there isn't that sense of pulling in the same direction throughout.

“It’s so important to have that alignment," Carrick said. "For me, that means an awful lot. Everyone is different in terms of what they want to achieve, how they want to go about it and how they think is the best method to bring them success. Whether that’s coaches, players or someone in the hierarchy of the club, everyone is different.

"But for me, an alignment and understanding is crucial. I like working with people, feeding off people and working together. We’ve certainly got that here. There’s a trust which has been built over time, but was pretty much there straight away anyway.

"Hopefully that comes across in how we work, and also how consistent we’ve been through the ups and downs. Hopefully there will be a lot more ups next season, but going through the downs that we have faced only enhances the trust and the belief that we are on the right track."

After guiding Boro to an unbeaten run in all but one of their final 12 games, there is plenty of optimism around Boro and their chances in the Championship next season. Carrick was clear after the final game of last term that the goal now is to challenge for promotion, and it's something that has not waned during his summer break.

“We want to achieve something here and have real success," he added. "It’s not easy, we’ve seen that. But certainly, to take the club forward, we feel we’ve got a good foundation. It can sometimes make it feel that little bit more special when you go through some challenging periods to achieve something. It makes it all the sweeter."

And on the role supporters can play in that, he concluded: “For me, the supporters are massive. They offer you an opportunity of an advantage and we’ve got to capitalise on that. The energy they can create in the stadium is massive, but it must come from us through the football we play.

"It’s important we don’t take that support for granted, because a lot of clubs don’t have that. Especially last season when we did a lot of travelling, the support was unbelievable and that gives us a lot of motivation. The commitment people make and how much it can impact their lives is huge and it should never be forgotten.

"We’re in a privileged position and this is a fantastic football club with good people. We want to give them something to repay them over the course of the season."