Chuba Akpom contract latest as Middlesbrough FC prepare for crisis club Reading

Michael Carrick says Middlesbrough will prepare for the best version Reading as the Royals prepare to be hit with a points penalty.

Saturday’s visitors to the Riverside are faced with a threat of the deduction for allegedly breaching a business plan with the English Football League.

The plan was put in place last season when Royals were docked six points for breaching profit and sustainability rules.

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Boro are still chasing Sheffield United in the second automatic promotion spot in the Premier League and manager Carrick says they are taking nothing for granted.

Chuba Akpom of Middlebrough (Picture: Michael Regan/Getty Images)Chuba Akpom of Middlebrough (Picture: Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Chuba Akpom of Middlebrough (Picture: Michael Regan/Getty Images)

“I’ll be honest, I don’t know the exact situation for them so I can just assume that they will use whatever they’re going through as motivation,” said the former England midfielder who has been a revelation since taking charge of Boro.

"They are a good group of players and you can see they’ve got a real spirit about them.

"I’ve had it plenty of times. It depends what the issue is and what the dressing room is like that you’re in at that time. But most of the time the boys are so focused on playing and training and there is enough responsibility on trying to perform yourself.

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"So for me, you find that takes most of your focus and concentration.

"From our point of view, the answer is I don’t know, but we expect the best version of them and we’ve prepared for that.”

Carrick, pictured, is also looking to the future with Chuba Akpom’s contract status set to be one of the big issues to tackle this summer, regardless of what division Middlesbrough end up in.

The 27-year-old striker, who has scored 19 goals this season, will have 12 months to run on his contract.

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Asked if there was any update on Boro’s ability to secure him on a longer deal, Carrick said: “Sitting here, no there is nothing to update on right now.

"Listen, Chuba is obviously doing great for us and it’s something we are looking at between now and the end of the season.

"Not just Chuba but contracts for players moving ahead into the summer and next season.”