MICHAEL CARRICK does not want to overload his Middlesbrough players with too much post-season information as he feels it is vitally important they get the opportunity to have a proper break from football for a few weeks.

Boro’s season came to an end as they beat Watford last weekend, with Carrick and his players not now due to reconvene at Rockliffe Park until the start of pre-season training in early July.

Every member of the playing squad has been issued with an individually-tailored training programme to ensure they remain in a good physical condition throughout the summer, and some of the players who ended the season suffering from an injury will be constantly monitored during the next few weeks.

However, Carrick wants his squad to enjoy some proper downtime at the start of their summer break, hence his decision not to hold a series of lengthy post-season debriefs trawling over the highs and lows of the previous campaign.

“That was it for the boys (last weekend),” said the Boro boss, who is also stepping away from football himself for a week or two to enjoy some time with his family. “They’re done now for the summer.

“I’m not particularly one for big formal one-to-one meetings with players, although certainly there are ongoing communications with the boys. A lot of the big decisions have been made internally and it’s more just a case of when is the right time to announce them publicly.

“We spoke to them a lot throughout the week before the Watford game too. It’s not really a new message for them though, it was one that just continued throughout the season.”


Carrick made a point of holding individual discussions with some of the players who have struggled for game time in the last nine months, spelling out his hopes and aims for next season.

Decisions have been made over the future of a number of players within the squad, with Luke Ayling set to sign a new contract shortly that should commit him to the Riverside next season.

Sam Greenwood will be returning to Leeds United at the end of his loan deal, however, and there are currently no plans to make attempts to sign Luke Thomas or Lewis O’Brien, who are also reaching the end of their respective loan agreements. Paddy McNair will also be released as a free agent once his contract formally expires.

“I spoke to one or two who maybe needed a little more help or who had maybe missed a little more than they’d hoped,” continued Carrick. “Every individual’s situation is different.

“There were conversations about when they come back from the summer break and about the plan going forward - who needs to rest, who needs to work, who needs to come back in a certain way.”

Boro’s recruitment work will gather pace in the next few weeks, with the summer transfer window expected to be a busy one. There will not be a repeat of the radical overhaul that was required last summer, but there is a clear intention to improve some key areas of the squad.

Thoughts will then turn to next season, with the EFL having announced earlier this week that the fixtures for the new campaign will be released on Wednesday, June 26.

“That’s part of the excitement of starting again in the summer,” said Carrick. “The work and the planning doesn’t really stop, and it’s what we enjoy because we’re striving for success and we’re hungry for more.”