MICHAEL Carrick would have happily sat and praised each and every one of his Middlesbrough players after the brilliant Leicester City win, so delighted was the head coach with his side's display.

And all of those in red deserve high praise for playing their part in a win that sends Boro into the international break on a high and just two points outside the play-off places.

But Carrick couldn't help but name-check certain individuals after what he described as a "big win".

Rav van den Berg and Lukas Engel - both still adapting to the Championship and in van den Berg's case still getting used to a new position - were "immense", said Carrick. As were Isaiah Jones and Sam Greenwood for the support they offered he front, said the head coach.

And Carrick also picked out Dael Fry, Paddy McNair and Jonny Howson for the manner in which they perfectly executed Boro's gameplan. Fry was tasked with man-marking Kelechi Iheanacho while Howson had the same job on Kiernan Dewsbury Hall.

Leicester dominated possession and had their chances at the Riverside, with the visitors looking particularly threatening in the period before Boro's winner. But even when they were under the cosh, Boro refused to buckle and stuck to their plan.


Carrick said:  “I thought we went through fazes in the game. There were periods when we were pressing well and high up the pitch. "They ask a lot of questions of you though, so if you want to really commit you have to put players in certain spaces that we might not normally do.

"Jonny Howson was a good example of that - he was playing centre-half at some points because Dael was tasked with jumping in with Iheanacho.  Sometimes both of the centre-halves were in front of Jonny, because Jonny was looking after Dewsbury-Hall. The balance of that, and how the three of them managed that space was so impressive and they did so well.

"As the game went on I thought we also had periods where we looked dangerous - towards the end of the first half in particular we looked a real threat.

"Second half, fair play to them, they didn’t really let us breath and kept us pinned back a little bit. But we defended our box so well. "The full-backs were immense, and the wide men too, Sam and Izzy, getting back in to help them. It was a real team effort and it feels nice when you’ve got to grind it out and you’ve got to dig deep physically and mentally. We did that, so I was delighted with them."