Middlesbrough FC's Darragh Lenihan on why Nottingham Forest provide Championship inspiration for Boro
Forest found themselves near the bottom of the second-tier in early season last term, before their fortunes were transformed following the departure of Chris Hughton and the appointment of Steve Cooper.
It culminated in a memorable run to the play-off final which saw them emerge victorious in the showpiece against Huddersfield Town at Wembley.
It is very early days for Boro and Carrick - the permanent successor to Chris Wilder who was sacked in early October - and while no-one is foolish enough to openly predict that Boro will replicate the events at Forest, Lenihan admits that those feats do serve as inspiration.
Carrick has certainly made an encouraging start with Boro losing just once in his five games in charge so far and winning their last three away matches, including a dramatic late victory against top-six candidates Norwich City at Carrow Road in their final game before the World Cup break.
The Republic of Ireland international told RTE Sport, said: "As a young kid, you want to play in the Premier League. You look at Nottingham Forest last year.
"I don’t know when they were bottom of the league, and they got promoted in the play-offs.
"Hopefully we can be up there come the end of the season."
Brought in by Wilder from Blackburn Rovers in the summer, Lenihan and Boro struggled early on with the Teessiders winning just two of their opening 11 league games this season, culminating in the exit of Wilder following a 1-0 reverse at Coventry, which left the club in the relegation zone.
Leo Percovich took interim command for five games before Carrick's arrival.
Lenihan, preparing for Ireland's friendly with Norway on Thursday, added: "I had a manager for five years (Tony Mowbray) and now had three managers within four or five months.
"It’s been a good challenge, one I will look back on that I think will test me as a person."