Middlesbrough boss would love Chuba Akpom to finish top of the Championship charts
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Akpom took his goal tally to 12 for the season and nine in his last 10 matches with his treble in the 4-1 victory, which moved Boro to within two points of the top six.
The result extended Kolo Toure’s miserable start to life as Wigan boss, with the former Manchester City and Arsenal defender still looking for his first win in charge after three games.
The visitors were second best throughout at the Riverside, and Marcus Forss gave Boro a deserved lead in the first half, before Akpom and Ryan Giles took centre stage after the break.
Akpom finished a fine team move four minutes in the second half to put Boro 2-0 up before a clinical first time finish with his left foot 10 minutes later.
Thelo Aasgaard gave the away fans something to cheer about but a comeback was never on the cards and Akpom wrapped up his hat-trick in stoppage time – Giles created all three of his goals.
Carrick said: “I’m delighted for him. He’s in a right purple patch at the minute and long may it continue.
“Of course I’d love him to finish top scorer, it would mean as a team we’re playing well and getting the benefits from it.
“It would be an added bonus if he can do that. But I’ve not spoken to him about that, for me it’s all about the team.”
Carrick was also full of praise for Wolves loanee Giles.
He said: “We know what Gilo is capable of and we try to get him in those positions. It’s important we play to our strengths. Gilo’s game is getting forward. His delivery and left foot is top quality.”
Boro have now won five of their eight games since Carrick replaced Chris Wilder at the end of October, but it is a different story for the struggling Latics.
The defeat at the Riverside leaves them in the relegation zone and three points adrift of safety after eight defeats in their last 11 games.