EFL

Michael Carrick confused by ‘massive’ offside calls as Boro draw with Millers

By Sports Desk January 20, 2024

Michael Carrick could not understand why the officials made the two “massive” offside decisions they did as Middlesbrough came from behind to claim a point from a 1-1 draw with Rotherham.

The Millers had taken a 59th-minute lead when Cafu finished brilliantly after he was played in behind the defence by former Boro striker Jordan Hugill – despite Carrick’s claims the striker was offside in the build-up.

But Rotherham’s hopes of a first away win since November 2022 were dashed when Marcus Forss equalised with eight minutes remaining.

Boro could also have won it when Josh Coburn turned in at the end, only for the officials to blow for offside because Matt Crooks attempted to go for the ball at the near post first.

Carrick said: “It’s disappointing because we have had two games against them now and came away with a point. It’s difficult to understand but credit to them for making things difficult.

“There were bright moments, some good football in the game, but the second half was stop-start, free-kicks, throw-ins, not a real flow in the game, so it was difficult to get going.

“Credit to the boys, it wasn’t easy. We finished strong and we scored a perfectly good goal to win 2-1. You always find a way to take a positive. It could have been more frustrating as the game went on, they never gave up.

“The story of the game for me is that their goal is offside. Hugill is offside in build up, right in front of the linesman. Crooks is onside at the end. Key moments.

“I was shouting for offside in build up to their goal, the officials didn’t flinch, and led to a goal from nowhere. Two massive decisions.”

Morgan Rogers, reportedly the subject of bids from Aston Villa this week, cleverly flicked into the path of Forss for the equaliser.

Carrick, who revealed Isaiah Jones faces a battle to be fit to face Chelsea in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup semi-final after going off with a hamstring problem, added: “It is that funny season, there’s rumours and speculation. Morgan played well, there’s nothing from my point of view on that one.

“There is no reason (not to play him)… he is our player and a massive part of the group. Speculation is speculation. You get on with the job. This is what we do. I’m only interested in the players I have got to choose from.”

Middlesbrough are three points behind sixth-placed Coventry and remain in the hunt for promotion.

Rotherham, who have only won one of their last 16 matches, are eight points shy of safety.

Head coach Leam Richardson, who took over before Christmas, said: “I feel a little bit pleased with our structure, the competitive nature and the account we have given of ourselves.

“I’m also mindful of the quality of the opposition and the environment we are playing in.

“We have to play a certain way to get the best out of the players we have. Everyone adapts slightly with the opposition, and credit to the players for the output they have given against a team pushing for the play-offs, and in a cup semi-final.

“When it goes so late you are disappointed. After the game your emotions can take you either way and I am a manager-coach who likes to look back and evolve.

“The goal was avoidable, they all are. We probably could have been more mindful late on in possession.

“If we work as hard as we can and the lads have given full attention since I arrived in the building, we are not blessed with facilities, so we have been adapting, learning different things, and if we keep performing like that I believe we will give ourselves a better fighting chance. We might as well give it a go rather than roll over.”

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