MICHAEL CARRICK heaped praise on Cameron Archer and Aaron Ramsey after Middlesbrough’s two January loan signings played pivotal roles in the 3-1 win at Swansea City that lifted the Teessiders back to within four points of the automatic-promotion positions.

Ramsey fired home Boro’s second-half equaliser at the Swansea.com Stadium, slotting home at the second time of asking after his initial effort had been blocked.

Four minutes later, and Archer headed Carrick’s side into the lead as he successfully converted Hayden Hackney’s cross.

The pair both joined Boro on loan from Aston Villa during the January transfer window, and Carrick has been delighted with the way in which they have seamlessly slipped into his starting side.

The Boro boss said: ““They’re obviously good players – young, talented players – but the biggest thing I can say about them is that their character and personality has shone through so well.


“They’ve been brilliant. They’re really humble lads, and they appreciate what the team brings. That’s the great thing about our squad at the moment – the boys’ appreciation for each other. That’s been the key thing in how easy it has been for those boys to settle in.

“The same is true of Dan (Barlaser) – it feels as though they’ve been here for a long time. It’s really beneficial. You need the talent and quality that they’ve shown, but it’s more about the personality and character, which has been great to see.”

Boro trailed at the break in south Wales, with Joel Piroe opening the scoring after Ryan Manning’s strike was deflected into his path.

However, Carrick was never unduly concerned about his side’s performance, and was always confident they would turn things around in the second half.

“I was really pleased with the boys,” he said. “I thought we showed different sides to our game. I thought the first half was actually our better half in terms of the football that we played and control we had. I thought we controlled the game with a little bit less possession in the second half, but looked really dangerous.

“In the first half, some of the football was really, really good, we just didn’t have that little bit around the box to finish it off. We started the game ever so well, went a goal behind, but then I thought the boys showed their belief and the togetherness and spirit I’ve talked about for so long.

“These are the games you need that in, and the more experience you have in coming from behind, the better. It’s not ideal, but we have done that.

“We have the belief we can do it, and leaving the changing room at half-time, the boys were really all in that they could back into it and win the game. I was delighted for them, with the effort they put in.”