Michael Carrick upbeat despite Middlesbrough's narrow defeat to Leeds United
Emmanuel Latte Lath emphatically opened the scoring for Carrick’s side before a quickfire double from Daniel James and Crysencio Summerville flipped the game on its head in a breathtaking first 10 minutes.
Joel Piroe extended the lead for Daniel Farke’s men from the penalty spot after substitute Matt Clarke, replacing Paddy McNair as Carrick lost another of his defenders to injury, brought down Georginio Rutter.
Boro weren’t done in the first half, however, as there was still time for Latte Lath to head his second of the game to give Carrick’s side a lifeline.
That lifeline faded somewhat when defender Anfernee Dijksteel was dismissed just after the hour before Sammy Silvera came within the width of the post of an equaliser as Boro were left a little frustrated not to come away with a point.
"I’m disappointed we haven’t come away with anything really,” said Carrick.
"I know they had a number of chances, and looked dangerous in spells, but I thought we certainly had enough chances and enough opportunities to get something out of the game.
"When you go down to 10 men it's a challenge, but even then I still fancied us to get something on the break if it came our way. We hit the post, we had a big, big shout for a penalty on Crooksy and it was just one of them days where things went against us really.
"But I’m proud of the players. We played some really good football and created some really good chances.”
Boro will have to deal with further defensive setbacks ahead of their meeting with high-flying Ipswich Town with Dijksteel suspended and McNair now injured.
Meanwhile, Carrick’s side will host Aston Villa in the third round of the FA Cup at the Riverside over the weekend of January 6, 2024.
The Teessiders last faced Villa in 2019, the same season in which the Villans would clinch promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs.