MIDDLESBROUGH'S preparations for their game at Southampton were disrupted by a stressful and dramatic flight on Thursday, with bad weather conditions causing an aborted landing.

At one stage, the aircraft looked set to have to turn around and land at Birmingham, which would have meant the squad having to make the rest of the journey by coach and would have resulted in an extremely late arrival given the traffic chaos on the roads at the start of Easter weekend.

In the end, Boro's plane was able to land successfully at the second time of asking, though Michael Carrick admitted some of his players "were a bit tetchy" after the drama. Boro were flying home on Friday night straight after the 1-1 draw at St Mary's, though Carrick joked some of his players wanted to head home on the roads instead.

After their dramatic journey and a string of injury setbacks that also disrupted Boro's preparations, Carrick was immensely proud of his players for digging deep and snatching a point at Southampton thanks to Emmanuel Latte Lath's last minute equaliser.

"We didn't get to the hotel until late last night after an aborted landing, we were getting blown all over the place and we came down to land then had to take off as well and I'm thinking 'oh god, it's one of them'," explained Boro's head coach.

"Then we were going to get diverted to Birmingham.

“We came to land, didn’t touch down, but then had to take off again. It was tasty and some of the boys were a bit tetchy, absolutely. It wasn’t pleasant. I think a few of the boys are talking about just getting the coach all the way back!

"It's been a bit hectic but it brings you together and I think that's why in the end you think everything you go through, I'm so pleased the lads got something from it."


Adam Armstrong fired Southampton into an early lead but Boro stuck at it and leveller in the last minute to extend their unbeaten run to five matches.

Carrick said: "I'm so, so pleased with the boys, everyone. We feel we deserve something from the game. I know they had opportunities but we did as well. I thought it was a good game of football, I enjoyed watching it from the side, I was just desperate for the boys to get something.

"To come here so depleted, with Jonny (Howson) playing centre-half and go one down, it's easy to think it's a long day and accept that. But the boys were immense with their attitude and stuck together and showed some good qualities. I'm really proud of them."