Michael Carrick's positive reflections on Middlesbrough's growth over the season

Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick
Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick -Credit:MI News/NurPhoto

Michael Carrick will reflect positively on the growth of his side over the course of the season after a positive end sets them up nicely for a real push next term.

Boro concluded their campaign with a 3-1 victory over Watford on Saturday with Emmanuel Latte Lath once again amongst the goals as he finished his first season with 18 goals. The three points saw Boro end the season in eighth place, just four points off the play-offs in the end, even though they went into their final two games unable to make the top six.

While Carrick has made no secret of the fact that the side's goals were to make the play-offs and they therefore ultimately fell short of their targets, there is obviously context behind that. As well as being ravaged by injuries throughout the campaign, Boro also started slowly - failing to win any of their opening seven games.

READ MORE: Middlesbrough will be the envy of many Championship rivals thanks to Emmanuel Latte Lath

Despite that, the Boro boss always believed his side would come good eventually and expressed that opinion regularly during that tough start. Justified in his trust in the end, Carrick ends the season feeling positive when looking to the future.

He said: "The spirit of the group has gone an awful long way to helping us on this run at the end of the season. There's a positivity after a win and run, and a lot of feel-good inside the group. The other side is when you pull away from it how close we've come.

"I told the boys after West Brom away that I wouldn't mind putting a bet on us to get in the play-offs at that stage. I genuinely believed that. We just fell a little bit short in the end, but because of what we came through we can use that as a real positive.

"The feel around the stadium at the end, there was real happiness and a connection between the fans and players and we need to build on that next season."