MICHAEL CARRICK insists he is happy with Emmanuel Latte Lath’s performance levels, even though the striker has still only scored one goal at the Riverside all season.

The summer signing from Atalanta has scored five goals in away matches this term, the most recent of which came as a brace in last weekend’s 3-2 defeat at Leeds United.

However, he was unable to find the target in yesterday’s 2-0 home defeat to Ipswich Town, with his best opportunity coming to nothing when he rolled a shot wide of the target towards the end of the first half.


While the Ivorian made a series of dangerous forward runs, he generally lacked the composure required to make the most of them.

However, with Josh Coburn remaining an unused substitute yesterday, Carrick is adamant he is happy with the way Latte Lath is playing.

“I thought he looked a threat at times,” said the Boro boss, whose side have now lost three of their last four matches. “We have to use him in the right way.

“There was the opportunity in the first half, which he did great to create for himself. Unfortunately, he just went the wrong side of the post, but he was dangerous last week against Leeds and I thought he looked sharp again in this game.”

All of Boro’s players struggled to make an impact in the final third, with Ipswich goalkeeper Vaclav Hladky’s only concering moment coming when his own centre-half, Luke Woolfenden, almost headed Dan Barlaser’s free-kick into his own net.

At the other end, Ipswich scored with two of their three shots on target as Jonny Howson failed to clear Wes Burns’ cross, enabling Conor Chaplin to fire home the opener, and Lukas Engel played Omari Hutchinson onside for the visitors’ second goal.

“Both boxes make the difference,” said Carrick. “Everything in between gives you a chance, and you always try to give yourself a better chance of winning the game in those areas. But in the end, both boxes are always the difference.

“In the end, we just didn’t quite have that bit of extra. But it was against a good team. Two shots on target and two-nil down. It’s disappointing.”