Michael Carrick explains 20 year old creative star decision as Middlesbrough boss praises ‘terrific’ forward

The young Boro striker played the full 90 minutes against Sheffield Wednesday, with Emmanuel Latte Lath an unused substitute

Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick was delighted with Josh Coburn’s performance in the 1-1 draw at Sheffield Wednesday, insisting the young striker ‘deserved’ to play at Hillsborough.

Coburn was given the nod ahead of Emmanuel Latte Lath to lead the line in what was the first Championship start of the season for the 20-year-old. And while he didn’t find the net, Carrick was pleased with his display against the Owls.


Latte Lath has been heavily involved since signing from Atalanta in the summer, and was handed a rest after a hectic run of fixtures, with Coburn’s training performances impressing the coaching staff.

There are a number of reasons why we made the choice to go with Josh,” Carrick explained after Darragh Lennihan’s second-half effort earned Boro a point in south Yorkshire. “Manny has played every game since he’s been here, while Josh has been training ever so well.

Josh Coburn's route to Middlesbrough's bench at 18, impressing Warnock and getting Fry's approval - Teesside Live

“He had an injury in pre-season so missed a fair bit of it. Then there was a decision to be made on whether he should go on loan or not, but the last few weeks he’s looked really good in training.


“So he deserved to play, simple as that. I thought he was terrific at times tonight. I thought he led the line well, stuck at it even though he didn’t quite get the kind of chance he’d be hoping for, but they will come if he keeps doing the right things.”

Isaiah Jones was another to receive an extended runout, coming on as a half-time substitute for Lukas Engel. And Carrick felt his introduction made a big difference as Boro responded to Anthony Musaba’s opener to earn a draw.

“Izzy did well,” Carrick added. “I think as a team we responded well and Izzy was a big part of that down the right-hand side with Crooksy, Sammy and Hayden.


“I thought they had some really good combinations and looked really dangerous without having that final pass or end product. But I was delighted for Izzy. I know it’s just words and I keep repeating myself about the squad and how good the group is, but I think these are the type of players that really show that. Izzy came off the bench and was all in and a big part of our second-half performance.”

While the draw means Boro remain bottom of the Championship table, level with Tuesday night’s oppenents but behind on goal difference, Carrick saw ‘good spells’ from his side at Hillsborough, and wants to see the consistency levels rise.


“I think consistency is a challenge for the whole group,” he said. “There are good spells and good moments, but to be a successful team we need to put it together over the course of a full game.

“That’s the challenge for all the boys really, and we haven’t quite found that yet as a group. I have no doubt that it will come. Confidence is a funny thing but it’s time to get in the right frame of mind right from the start of the game, as opposed to when we’re 1-0 down and therefore going for it.”


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