MICHAEL CARRICK insists he is not unduly concerned by the marked dip in Middlesbrough’s home form since the turn of the year.

Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Bristol City means Boro have still not claimed a home league victory since before Christmas, with their last four home league matches having brought just two points.

Admittedly, they saw off Chelsea in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final before being brushed aside at Stamford Bridge, but their league struggles at the Riverside are a major factor in the six-point gap that currently separates them from the play-off positions.

Their latest setback saw them concede two goals in the space of two chaotic first-half minutes, but while his side have won three of their last four away matches in the league, Carrick remains convinced there is not a major issue when it comes to them playing at home.

“It’s not really a concern,” said the Boro boss, whose side are back out on the road on Wednesday when they head to Deepdale to take on Preston. “Whether we’re home or away, we want to win games.

“I’m not discounting it at all because we want to play well and want to win football matches, but I’m not one for looking at home form/away form so much, because it’s just us in general.


“We play the same way whether we’re home or away, and we try to do the same things. So, stats like that, when you delve a bit deeper, can look bad, but it’s not something I pay too much attention to. I just know, whether it’s home or away, we want to get back to winning games again.”

Seny Dieng and Riley McGree were on the bench at the weekend, and the pair will come into consideration for a starting spot on Wednesday night.

McGree looked lively after coming off the bench for the final quarter of the game, and is back to full fitness after representing Australia at the Asian Cup in Qatar. Similarly, Dieng has recovered from the injury issue that forced his early return from the Africa Cup of Nations.

Josh Coburn will be reassessed in the next 24 hours after his ongoing groin issue forced his exclusion from the squad against Bristol City, but Emmanuel Latte Lath is expected to remain sidelined.