Michael Carrick as Middlesbrough FC look the part in League Cup win at Bradford City
But they looked the part in a 2-0 League Cup win at Bradford City where they played with confidence and control.
“We’re happy with the performance," said manager Carrick. "It was a dominant win, but I emphasised at half-time that we don’t get comfortable. The confidence we showed to control the game was really good though and we looked really good.
"In possession, we looked really smooth and dangerous at times. Out of possession, we kept them up the pitch and won it back up the pitch, keeping them out of our penalty area for the most part, which is exactly what we were looking for.
"We just looked a good team – individually and as a team, so I’m delighted.
“We understand what these type of games are, no matter who you’re playing and one is never enough. They have quality especially in and around the box who can score goals from nothing, so we were really determined to keep our intensity and level of performance.
"The second goal (from Morgan Rogers) helps a lot and I can’t fault the boys for their approach and attitude towards the game. They were right at it from the off and got the result off the back of that."
Carrick was just pleased his team, who opened the scoring through Emmanuel Latte Lath after 21 minutes and never looked like losing from that point on, backed up all the good things he has been saying about them.
"I keep saying about the standards we see in training and that was kind of proof of that," he said. "It’s not easy when you change a number of players, but you hope the consistency of the training levels and what we see day in and day out will help."