Michael Carrick shouldn’t get “angry” while he evaluates Middlesbrough’s psychological examination.

Michael Carrick shouldn’t get “angry” while he evaluates Middlesbrough’s psychological examination.

One of the most successful managers of the modern period oversaw the most of Michael Carrick’s playing career. And while though the Middlesbrough manager has consistently stated that he will learn certain things from Sir Alex Ferguson, in the end he remains his own man.

Their contrasting demeanors are one evident way that mentor and mentee differ from one another. When he wasn’t pleased with a player, Sir Alex gave them the infamous “hairdryer” treatment, earning him a reputation for being abrasive. In contrast, during his nearly 12-month stay on Teesside, Carrick has shown a level of composure and given his players assurances.
He showed that side of him again on Tuesday night when, despite a terrible first half at Sheffield Wednesday, the Boro boss resisted the urge to rant and rave at his players, and instead offered words of encouragement that inspired a second-half turnaround. And while Carrick doesn’t believe there is necessarily a right and wrong way, he insists this way is his way, and what feels right to him.
Despite Boro’s terrible winless start to the season, he declared, “My mood is fine. “Obviously, I don’t like the number of points we have and I accept the situation we are in, but it doesn’t alter my attitude or the way I act around the team or with the players. They are all aware of our expectations, and the most important things I can ask for are effort, a positive outlook, and application.

“I don’t believe there is a right or incorrect answer. Personally, I just act in accordance with my gut feeling at the time. I act in ways that feel correct to me at the moment since that is the character and personality I have by default. This is who I am. I also speak
people in a certain way based on how I see things and in my own manner. And I trust in what I do.
“Do I always get it right? Most likely not. But you need to make an effort to comprehend the players’ mental state, where they’re coming from, etc. I can’t criticize them because they are giving everything they have, in my opinion. So what gives you cause for anger? To get through this, we need to work together.
“Once or twice I have, yes. It’s just picking the moments. What needs to be said at the right time and from what I see. But it will never be (for the sake of it). If I see someone trying and the effort is there and the attitude is right, I could never have a go at them.”
Carrick had an excellent start to management after taking his first full-time role with Boro last October. Inspiring an incredible turnaround in fortunes, Carrick’s side would climb from 21st in the table to finish fourth last season and just miss out on promotion via the play-offs.

But with much squad upheaval this summer, Carrick and Boro haven’t quite enjoyed the same kind of form this season. Winless in seven and with the third-worst defence in the Championship, they sit bottom of the table and Carrick will know he has to turn things around to avoid the inevitable pressure that will be on his future if he doesn’t.
Ultimately it’s the same job. There are slightly different challenges sometimes and of course some things come a lot easier for everybody when things are going well. That’s me, the players and the supporters – the club as a whole. But ultimately it’s the same job.

“There is a great group of people here who I love working with. I enjoy working with the players and preparing them for the next challenge. I am fortunate enough to be in a position where I can do something that I love doing, and I never take that for granted. So I come in every day appreciating where I am.”

A big factor in Carrick staying calm and not losing his temper comes from his footballing philosophy. Since arriving on Teesside the 42-year-old has made clear his enjoyment in seeing players express themselves. He has always been big on his players being brave enough to always try to do the right thing, even when it’s not coming off, and ranting and raving at them would hardly be conducive to such.
Tuesday’s draw at Hillsborough, particularly in that first half, bore many signs of a side lacking confidence and second-guessing what they were doing. Carrick’s reassurances at the interval managed to get them back on track, and the Boro boss admits that his job is much psychology as it is coaching.

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