MICHAEL Carrick believes Middlesbrough are starting to play to the strengths of Emmanuel Latte Lath - which bodes well for the future after the striker's double in Saturday's defeat at Leeds.

After a 10-game league spell on the bench, the summer signing has come back into the Boro starting XI for the last three games and ended a two-month wait for a Championship goal with a brace at Elland Road.

The Ivorian could - should - have had even more and was guilty of missing three further glorious first half chances in Saturday's 3-2 defeat. But the fact so many opportunities were created for the striker is evidence that his teammates are starting to figure him out, believes Boro's head coach.

Latte Lath now has four Championship goals to his name this season, as well as a couple in the Carabao Cup after strikes against Bradford and Exeter.

"He could have had four or five (against Leeds)," said Carrick.

"That's what he brings, his movement, his sharpness. The first goal was fantastic, from back to front, all the way through the pitch. It was great to see. He was a real threat all day long."


Carrick has two very different striker options in Latte Lath and Josh Coburn and the head coach knew it was always going to take time for his side to suss out how to get the best from both.

"I think Manu is settling and the boys are starting to play to his strengths," he said.

"We play a similar system (regardless of who starts up-front) but different individuals work with different attributes. We can get him down the sides with his sharp movements and he's really dangerous."