, ‘Big moments’ – Michael Carrick hails Middlesbrough man who impressed in losing effort

‘Big moments’ – Michael Carrick hails Middlesbrough man who impressed in losing effort

Middlesbrough manager Michael Carrick has paid tribute to the club’s in-form attacking midfielder Matt Crooks.

Middlesbrough stumbled to defeat in their first game back after the international break. They came back from two goals down but still lost 3-2 at Bristol City.

That loss leaves Boro in 12th place in the Championship table, four points off the play-off places.

Despite being on the losing side, Crooks continued his good form for Middlesbrough. The 29-year-old scored Boro’s equaliser in the game, and he now has three goals and four assists in all competitions in season 2023/24.

Crooks’ all-round performance in the defeat was praised after the game by his manager. Speaking to The Northern Echo, Carrick said:

“Crooksy is a really important player for us and there’s a lot more to his game than just being a hard-working player and being a physical presence. He showed that again in Bristol but he’s produced lots of big moments for us while I’ve been at the club.

“He’s been really effective for us this season and so things are going well for him and long may that continue.”

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Looking to bounce back

Crooks will be a key player for Boro as they look to bounce back from the loss at Bristol City. Carrick’s team are next in action in midweek against Preston and a win will re-affirm Middlesbrough’s ambitions to push closer to the play-off spots against a tough side.

You would expect Crooks to start that game, but he might not complete the 90 minutes. In the last four games that Boro have played, the former Rangers man has been substituted in the second-half. Interestingly, Middlesbrough have won only one of those four games.

Perhaps that indicates that Crooks should be given more playing time by his manager. That is something to watch out for in the weeks ahead, as maybe Carrick will feature Crooks for the entire game as Boro look to get back on form in the Championship.

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