Injury update for Middlesbrough, with special praise for Tommy Smith from Michael Carrick

Injury update for Middlesbrough, with special praise for Tommy Smith from Michael Carrick


Michael Carrick had special praise for Tommy Smith after Middlesbrough’s emphatic victory over Sunderland, with the right-back only going into the starting line-up at late notice.
Boro won 4-0 at the Stadium of Light against ten-man Sunderland, with Boro clinically dismantling their hosts after Dan Neil’s red card. And while there was plenty of attacking quality on show in Boro’s second-half performance, Smith earned the praise of his boss too.
In what Carrick described as a tough decision, Smith was only meant to be on the bench on Wearside, as Carrick continues to manage his game-time after a bad ankle injury in pre-season has disrupted his season to date. Instead, it was the returning Rav van den Berg who was due to start, but he pulled up in the warm-up, requiring Carrick to make the late change.
Asked about it after, Carrick said: “It was a tough call today between Tommy and Rav that I had to make. Rav went down in the warm-up, and late too, so Tommy had to come in. I really couldn’t ask any more of him. He used all of his experience to come through it in the way he did.
“When you think you’re sub and not starting, it’s a different kind of feeling when you’re out warming up. You sometimes aren’t as prepared. To then get that call so late, I thought he dealt with that very, very well. He was fantastic and played a big part in the win. It could have been a drama, it could have proven costly, but in the end, it didn’t. We’ll have to see how Rav is now.”
Riley McGree, meanwhile, was absent on the day with a foot injury suffered at the end of Tuesday night’s victory over Cardiff City. Pre-match it was a big blow for Boro to lose their star man of late, though they did more than enough in the Aussie’s absence anyway.

But on his injury, Carrick said: “Riley felt his foot literally 30 seconds before we were going to bring him off anyway. Really bad luck. He felt a pain in the bottom of his foot which is an issue that’s not easy to get on top of. We’ll have to see how he is over the next few days.”

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