Boro boss Michael Carrick previews the impending match between Middlesbrough and Sunderland. Middlesbrough manager Michael Carrick believes Tony Mowbray has done an excellent job at Sunderland and anticipates an interesting game when the two teams meet at the Stadium of Light.
Boro have won their past three league games after a difficult start to the season, but they face a stiff test against a Black Cats squad that has won five of their previous six.
“They are playing very well, have had a really good start to the season, and have got a young team,” Carrick remarked of Sunderland. “There’s a lot of talent there, and Tony has done an excellent job.”
“It’s a really good game for us, an exciting game, the type of game you want to be a part of and put your skills to the test.” The players will be looking forward to it, as will the fans, and let us hope for a nice game and a good performance from us to give us a chance of obtaining the appropriate result.”
Mowbray will face the same team he played with and managed last season, but Carrick doesn’t think it will affect the game. “I don’t think that makes any difference,” stated Boro’s manager. “I believe Tony is knowledgeable and has seen a lot in his time.” I’m confident it won’t change his mind.
does or how he goes about it. It certainly won’t change us.
“I think we respect them for obviously the manager that he is, players they are and team that they are because they are dangerous and a good team. It’s another game that once the ball is rolling, getting our details right, positions right, attacking the right spaces, all that is the same game to game.”
Both sides are facing injury and fitness issues ahead of the match, with Carrick confirming Nottingham Forest loanee Lewis O’Brien is set to be sidelined for between two and three months after suffering leg and ankle injuries. Defender Rav van den Berg could return to the squad after missing Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Cardiff, a match where captain Jonny Howson was also absent due to an illness.
Sunderland midfielder Pierre Ekwah and playmaker Bradley Dack won’t be available until after the international break, while Alex Pritchard is a doubt for the Boro match due to a calf strain. “He’s probably unlikely to play at the weekend – he’s got a slight calf strain,” replied Mowbray when asked about Pritchard following his side’s 2-0 win over Watford.
“It’ll be a toss-up whether he can make it, and I’ll sit down with Alex and see how he feels.” The scan revealed very little damage, but it did reveal damage, so we decided it was better he left it and there is an international break coming up, but we haven’t nailed down Saturday yet – we’ll see how he is and if he trains over the next four days.”