MICHAEL Carrick is keen to extend his stay at Middlesbrough and sign a new contract, with positive talks understood to have taken place between the head coach and the club's hierarchy.

Carrick's current contract runs until the end of next season and while the head coach is calm about the matter, there's an eagerness from all parties to finalise an extension.

Despite Boro's disappointing recent form which has seen them slip out of Championship play-off contention, Carrick says he continues to "love" life on Teesside.

While an extension to his contract has not yet been signed, it's understood Carrick and chairman Steve Gibson have held positive talks and are on the same page when it comes to ambition and planning for the future - but the head coach insists there's no rush to finalise a new deal.

Carrick said: "I wouldn't say it's major in terms of a big deal, it's not a big deal for me. I'm happy here. I'm relaxed about it. Everyone is clamouring for news on something, nothing has changed, I'm here, I love it here, I'm enjoying it.

"As I've said with the players, things will happen naturally in time. There's no deadline, there's no chasing, there's no agendas. I'm just here and working hard.

"I'm happy, there are no issues, nothing has changed, I love it here."


Carrick last night joined Boro supporters at Middlesbrough Town Hall for the reunion of the club's 2004 Carling Cup winning heroes.

The current head coach has seen what that cup winning squad means to fans on Teesside and is determined to enjoy success of his own at Boro.

He said: "The hunger is there. Of course little things spur you on a little bit but that doesn't change my hunger for success.

"You understand in football there's history and traditions you respect and you understand what successful teams look like and what it means to people, but certainly for me that hasn't given me motivation. I didn't need any more. That was already there.

"I work and do things the way I believe is right for me and the people around me. I try to do it in a respectful way, working hard and giving my best."