MICHAEL Carrick believes Emmanuel Latte Lath is getting better and better for Middlesbrough as he continues to get to grips with the Championship - which bodes well for the coming weeks and next season.

Latte Lath took his goal tally for the season to 10 with a last gasp equaliser at Southampton on Friday, a fine return for the 25-year-old in his first season in England considering he spent two months sidelined with injury at the turn of the year.

The former Atalanta frontman is in form and has now scored three goals in his last five outings for Boro. But it isn't just his record in front of goal that's pleasing Carrick.

Boro's head coach is thrilled with Latte Lath's all-round contribution and praised the striker for his work in both boxes at St Mary's before he popped up with the last minute headed equaliser.

“He’s good at that Manu - good in the air," said Carrick.

"I thought he defended a couple of the corners well too, which proves that.

"That’s 10 (goals) for the season for him which, after a stop-start season because of a couple of injuries, and his first season in what is an intense league that isn't easy to come into, is really positive. It’s a good return.

"He’s grasping the league and adapting all the time. To get a late goal shows that and is always great in front of your own fans. It’s a great step for him and I’m really happy with him. To put that performance in and keep going for the 90 minutes, I’m delighted for him.”


Boro rode their luck at times at Southampton but were also thankful for the brilliance of Seny Dieng in goal, who made a string of superb second half saves. Matt Clarke was outstanding in front, while Jonny Howson recovered from his early mistake to put in a fine display in an unfamiliar centre-half role.

Carrick said: “It was one of those where the game became open which I was fine about because we’re trying to win games at this stage of the season really. We went for it and I thought the boys defended that really well between Jonny and Clarkey.

"There were big spaces but they managed it really well. When they did have a couple of opportunities, Seny has done really well.

"I think everyone played their part in certain ways and we needed that. For all the game had lots of ups and downs and chances at both ends, in the end, the point is something we’ll take, we’re a little bit disappointed we didn’t take more - as I’m sure they are as well."