Middlesbrough v Burnley: Carrick wins March gong and seeks to maintain welcome trait after loss

MICHAEL CARRICK will be aiming to avoid the traditional manager of the month curse in Middlesbrough’s key tussle with leaders Burnley tonight – after winning the monthly award for March.

Carrick was rewarded for Boro’s impressive haul of 10 points and 13 goals from four games last month - whic h included comprehensive home victories over Reading and Preston, beaten 5-0 and 4-0 respectively.

Carrick said: “It’s always nice to be acknowledged like this, but it’s not about me. it’s all about the team, the staff and the supporters.

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"For me, awards always mean the team is doing well and that’s what matters.

Michael Carrick. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.Michael Carrick. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
Michael Carrick. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

"We’ve made good progress over the past five months and our aim is to keep improving in everything we do.”

That 'good progress' was ab ruptly interupted by last weekend's surprise 4-2 loss at Huddersfield Town, which has placed pressure on Boro ahead of the arrival of a Burnley side whose manager Vincent Kompany won manager of the month awards in February, January and December and also last October.

The Clarets will be promoted today if they win and Luton Town fail to beat fellow play-off challengers Millwall this lunch-time.

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Carrick’s side have reacted well to league defeats and have won every game after such a setback under him thus far .

Michael Carrick with his monthly award for March. Picture courtesy of EFL.Michael Carrick with his monthly award for March. Picture courtesy of EFL.
Michael Carrick with his monthly award for March. Picture courtesy of EFL.

He added: "I think it's just trying to be stable really and obviously stay calm to a point. We don't enjoy losing games.

"It's not a nice experience and it's not one that we want to have to learn from, but at the same point, I think it (form) probably shows the spirit in the group and the togetherness and character within the squad to keep believing.

Meanwhile, Boro's trip to Rotherham has been rescheduled for Monday, May 1 - with the kick-off time to be announced.

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It comes after the Millers' crunch relegation six-pointer with Cardiff City was switched from Tuesday, April 25 to Thursday, April 27 at the behest of Sky Sports.

The subsequent fixture with the Teessiders was also switched to allow Rotherham ade quate preparation time for a game which was originally scheduled for Saturday, April 29.