Michael Carrick felt Middlesbrough’s team spirit came through at Huddersfield

By Sports Desk December 29, 2023

Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick hailed the “unbelievable” spirit of his players after the 2-1 victory over Huddersfield at the John Smith’s Stadium.

Both sides missed easy chances in the first period, with Boro’s Isaiah Jones miskicking the ball two yards in front of an open net before Town’s Josh Koroma crashed off the crossbar after rounding the goalkeeper.

Second-half substitute Josh Coburn lifted over Jacob Chapman to put Boro in front but the home side were not behind for long as Michal Helik’s strike from the edge of the box made it 1-1.

Boro had the chance to win it late on from the penalty spot but Jonny Howson saw it saved by Chapman only for him to redeem himself and net the winner moments later.

Carrick said: “It’s not the perfect way or ideal way to go about it but sometimes you have got to find a way.

“The spirit is unbelievable in the group with the staff and backroom staff. It’s an effort from everywhere, a lot of clubs have injuries as well, it’s something you have to deal with and accept to a point.

“As we are in the league now, come the end of the year with everything to play for in the cup so there is a lot to be pleased about but still a lot of work to do for sure.”

Carrick was happy to see Howson net the winner just a minute after his spot-kick was saved.

He added: “It was a hell of a save to be fair from the goalkeeper, sometimes there are good penalties and bad penalties but it’s a hell of a save.

“You can see the emotion on Jonny’s face, what it meant to him and to everyone and celebrations were ramped up by the fact he missed the penalty.

“Sometimes it’s quite nice to win like that, really digging and fighting and Jonny showed that moment. It was one of those games that didn’t really come easy for us really.

“It was a slog, a grind, bit chaotic with chances at both ends and I said at half-time ‘if it is going to be one of them games then make sure we win the battle’.

“To be fair to the boys they all chipped in in different ways and I’m delighted with the result.”

Huddersfield boss Darren Moore felt his side did not deserve to lose.

He said: “I said to the boys to keep their heads up really because what’s doing Huddersfield is small lapses of concentration but credit to the players for the performance.

“It’s fine margins that split the difference and that’s what’s done us in the end tonight really. I’m encouraged because the performances are there so the results won’t be too far away.

“It’s a hard one to take but we have to take the positives from the game and take it forward.”

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