Coventry City v Middlesbrough: Michael Carrick plays down talk of revenge after play-off heartbreak last season

Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick has played down talk of revenge ahead of the club’s reunion with Coventry City.

The Sky Blues put the brakes on Middlesbrough’s promotion charge last season, knocking them out of the Championship play-offs at the semi-final stage.

It was Luton Town who were crowned play-off victors in the end, teeing up more meetings between Coventry and Middlesbrough in the second tier.

Revenge, however, is not on the mind of Carrick.

Coventry City put the brakes on Middlesbrough’s promotion charge last season. Image: Stu Forster/Getty ImagesCoventry City put the brakes on Middlesbrough’s promotion charge last season. Image: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Coventry City put the brakes on Middlesbrough’s promotion charge last season. Image: Stu Forster/Getty Images
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Speaking ahead of the game, he said: "What’s done is done. You can’t retrieve it. They got to Wembley and unfortunately for themselves didn’t quite get over the line at Wembley.

"You can’t go back in time. All we can do is try and learn from the game and look at it and think what we could have done better. Playing against them now, a few different players, tweaking the system, both teams have the same managers so we’ll go head-to-head again and look forward to the challenge.”

He has made no secret of his desire for reinforcements at the Riverside and has admitted a deal for Danish midfielder Lukas Engel is “getting a little bit closer”.

However, the hope for more signings does not mean the Boro boss is feeling pessimistic or downtrodden.

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He said: “I’m upbeat now, I really am. I think we’ve got some really good talent within the group. We’ve got some good experience within the group. I’m really upbeat. I’m looking forward to the season, we just need to come out of the next few weeks in a better place than we’re going into it.”

Middlesbrough’s league campaign kicked off with a defeat to Millwall, but Boro bounced back to overcome Huddersfield Town in the Carabao Cup in midweek.

Carrick said: “We were disappointed last week not to come away with the result we wanted but we played against a good team, well-organised and didn’t surprise us. We just couldn’t quite come out on top on the day.”