Michael Carrick on Lukas Engel’s “big moment” and what Middlesbrough is all about

Michael Carrick on Lukas Engel’s “big moment” and what Middlesbrough is all about



Michael Carrick was delighted for Lukas Engel as the summer signing passed a huge character test to play an important role in Middlesbrough’s victory over Cardiff City on Tuesday evening.

The Danish left-back has had a really tough start to life at the Riverside having joined Boro from Silkeborg in the summer transfer window. He was axed after 45 minutes of his last appearance against Sheffield Wednesday, with midfielder Lewis O’Brien selected ahead of him since.
But Engel was needed again on Tuesday evening against Cardiff, with O’Brien and Rav van den Berg both missing the game through injury. And while at times, particularly first half, it was clear that the 24-year-old was low on confidence, he did himself no harm in the second half, having far more intent in possession and even providing the assist for Boro’s first goal after they’d struggled to break Cardiff down prior to that.
Asked about that big moment for Engel, Carrick said: “I thought the bigger moment was the one where he stopped the goal, to be honest. He gets a touch to deflect the shot onto the post, which was a really big moment for him. He then sets up the goal, which is the headline moment, if you like.

“But I thought his performance in general was really good. I was really pleased for him, because it’s not easy to come back into the team when you haven’t played for a little bit. It was a fantastic night for him and I’m really pleased for him.”
On his start at the club in general, and showing the strength of character to overcome his troubles and keep going, Carrick continued: “Obviously sometimes when you go to a new club it clicks and everything comes easy. Sometimes it doesn’t even have to be a new club, sometimes you have times when things go against you, that’s football, that’s life.
You have to look after the players as well. There are times when if they’re not doing the right thing of course there are consequences. I’ve said it enough, I can never fault the boys for their attitude. Certainly for Lukas, it’s for us to get the best out of him. It’s like any individual, it’s up to us to get the best out of him.

“Sometimes it’s an arm around the shoulder, sometimes it’s a kick up the backside. Lukas has done great, he’s trained well, he’s kept his head down. He’s focused, you can see he’s got that belief and strength of character, which you need to play at this level, and he’s shown it.

“I’m delighted for him tonight. Listen, there’ll be ups and downs to come for everyone. The boys are in it for the right reasons and Lukas epitomised that tonight so I’m really pleased for him.”

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