Carrick: McKenna's Success With Town No Surprise
Saturday, 9th Dec 2023 10:20
Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick says he’s not at all surprised that his friend and former Manchester United colleague Kieran McKenna is proving to be a successful manager with the Blues.
Carrick and McKenna worked together at Old Trafford as members of José Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s staffs having initially met during their time as players at Tottenham.
“He has done an incredible job which I am not surprised about one bit,” Carrick told Teesside Live. “I worked with him over quite a period of time and got to know him and know how good he is.
“He is one of the best coaches you could ever hope for really; one of the best I have ever come across.
"He’s got a very good football brain and eye for detail, and his knowledge is just incredible in terms of what he can store and remember.
“On the grass, he’s fantastic as a coach in how he structures his sessions. He’s an all-round top coach. I learned a lot from him having come from very different backgrounds.
"So I am delighted for him because he is a good person and a terrific coach and it is good to see him doing so well in management from when he took over to where they are now. The consistency and how they play is testimony to him.
"We speak a lot. We are good friends. Obviously this week is what it is and we both have our jobs to do but I can’t really speak any more highly of him.
“He is an incredible coach and I’m not surprised he has done so well, whatever pathway he’s taken, he has grown them as a football club, grown them as a team.”
Given the two of them knowing one another’s approach to the game so well, might he attempt to spring a surprise?
“Yes of course [it's something to consider],” the former England international continued. “Look, we have worked in each other’s pockets for so long at United.
“We kind of emptied each other’s football brains onto each other. We helped prepare a team along with Ole for a number of years so we obviously saw a lot of similar things to be able to work together.
"You unload all of your knowledge onto each other and feed off it, developing some sort of understanding.
“We certainly think in similar ways. There is definitely that. Of course, we evolve and there are different ideas. You are what you are in terms of principles and I know how he thinks.
"I am not saying I know what he is going to do on Saturday, I would be very silly to think that, but I have an idea and he will be exactly the same with me.
“But neither of us are actually playing so it is not really about us, but Middlesbrough against Ipswich and two teams on the pitch. It will be good to see him after the game and catch up but before that, it is all about preparing the best we can for the game.”
Photo: Action Images
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