MICHAEL Carrick says he "understands the situation" as Middlesbrough continue their efforts to sign new players, with the head coach again reiterating that he's satisfied with his squad ahead of the Championship campaign getting underway this weekend.

Carrick says Boro have plans in place as they look to further bolster their squad but will also be alive to the possibility of "things popping up" in the final weeks of the summer window.

Boro have made seven signings this summer but are still in the market for centre-forwards and a left-back ahead of the September 1 deadline, with last season's loanees Ryan Giles and Cameron Archer still needing to be replaced.

And while Carrick would love to have had his squad complete before the start of the new season, he knows that in reality that was never likely to happen with the deadline still a month away.

Speaking at his first press conference of the season on Thursday afternoon, Carrick wouldn't be drawn on whether anything is imminent, but again stressed that while he obviously wants to add to his squad, he's content with the options at his disposal.

“I’ll be honest, at the moment, I’m happy with what we’ve got," he said.

"I’m not satisfied because there is always moving parts that you’re trying to fit in to the situation. But, I’m happy with what we have.

"We have a good selection and variety in the group, we’ve got freshness and experience too. Of course, we’re always looking to add and improve - you’re never that close, or as close as you want to be. That’s just part of the work that needs to go on over the next few weeks.

"Every manager in the whole country will tell you the same thing, in terms of always looking to improve.

"Sometimes things pop up and surprise you from out of nowhere and you take the opportunity, at other times plans are in place and you see if things play out the way you want.

"It's never as simple as you'd like or what I'd like in my position but I understand the situation and I'm really happy with the squad we've got, the players we've got and the players we've brought in so far. They've settled really quickly. It's a moving jigsaw puzzle and we're constantly trying to be as close to finishing it off as you can be but you're never really finished because you always move onto the next."


One of Boro's strengths last season was the unity of the squad under Carrick and the head coach is obviously keen to ensure new signings buy into that togetherness.

He said: "You can get carried away talking about players' ability but a big part of what we have here is the togetherness and spirit of the group. It's really close and solid and that's something we need to keep and build on.

"Of course we're really conscious of that when you're looking at players and finding out what they'll bring to not only the team because of their ability and skills but what they'll bring off the pitch as well. That's something we're big on."