'Really good day' for Middlesbrough was a testament to two things for Michael Carrick

Michael Carrick head coach of Middlesbrough
Michael Carrick head coach of Middlesbrough -Credit:Getty Images

Michael Carrick described Middlesbrough's 4-1 victory over Cardiff City as a really good day for them, with plenty of positives emerging from a game which had little riding on it for either side.

While conceding that, understandably in the circumstances, his side weren't consistently good throughout the whole 90 minutes, they were clinical and showed real quality in bursts to come away with an emphatic win that guaranteed them a top ten finish in the Championship this season.

Matt Clarke, Finn Azaz, Emmanuel Latte Lath and Alex Gilbert scored the goals that secured the away win for Boro. And after defeat to Leeds United on Monday had ended Boro's play-off chances this season, taking care of business in South Wales in the manner they did was the most pleasing aspect for Carrick.

READ MORE: Middlesbrough player ratings vs Cardiff City as Finn Azaz produces the goods in emphatic win

“I’m really happy with the result," he said after. "I thought we played really well in bursts really. We capitalised on that with some of the quality of football that we played and the goals that we scored. It made the game a little bit easier for us.

"There were maybe spells where the game drifted a little bit for us as well, which is maybe understandable in the circumstances and with a few changes. But, all in all, a really good day for us. Another away win, scoring some good goals and looking dangerous. We can pleased with a lot of things.

"The boys went about it in the right away, which is testament to their self-motivation and pride. There is an element of that edge that is taken away. But I thought the boys did everything right and largely played some decent football.

"We maybe would have liked to have been a little bit more consistent throughout the whole game. But in terms of being clinical, going about it in the right way and having the desire to win, I’m really pleased with the day we’ve had.”

It wasn't all plain sailing for Boro in the game. They were indebted to Seny Dieng for two big saves at important stages in the game. He first tipped a David Turnbull effort over the bar after an audacious attempt to chip him early on and then managed to tip a goalbound header from Dimitrios Goutas onto the post just after the restart when the score was still just 1-0.

Carrick said after: “Big saves. The first one from where I was looked like it was going in. So he’s done a hell of a job to get that. They’re big saves. As a goalkeeper, we don’t want him to have much to do, but if and when he’s called upon, they’re the big saves that we need him to make.

"He did that. We’re just a bit disappointed to throw the clean sheet away in the end. It won’t spoil the day though because largely we defended okay and when Seny did have something to do he did it well."