Middlesbrough forward Chuba Akpom has credited his manager and Manchester United legend Michael Carrick for his incredible goalscoring form and for the turnaround in fortunes at the Riverside Stadium.
Since Carrick joined the club, Akpom has scored 24 goals in 28 games. Central to Akpom’s success has been a huge tactical tweak by Carrick – playing the former Arsenal player in a free role behind the main striker, Cameron Archer.
This has seen Boro climb from the bottom positions of the league into fourth spot in the Championship and into the play-off picture. This was something that was deemed impossible before Carrick took over.
Akpom scored Middlesbrough’s third in their 3-1 victory at home to Hull City to set a new Championship record.
By finding the back of the net for a ninth consecutive Championship home game in a row, the 27-year-old is now the only player ever to have achieved such a feat in England’s second division.
Carrick has won 18 of the 28 games he has been in the Middlesbrough dugout since taking over last October after his brief spell as United interim boss.
Following Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s sacking, Carrick was handed over the reins before the appointment of Ralf Rangnick. Carrick oversaw three games where he won two and drew one.
That the ex-United man is taking the Championship by storm simply shows why the likes of Jose Mourinho and Solskjaer held him in high regard.
Akpom said after Middlesbrough’s win against Hull City, “I’m enjoying it, I’m just playing with a smile on my face, I can’t complain, I’m loving it at the moment.”
The attacker was questioned about Carrick’s impact on his game and how much he owes the United legend. To this Akpom replied, “Massively, massively. I think he’s the manager I’ve been dreaming of my whole career.”
“Honestly, he’s a pleasure to work with, I go out there and give 110 per cent and I want to fight for the manager because he’s showed so much trust and confidence in me, and I really appreciate it.”
“So I just had to dedicate that to the gaffer today.”
🗣️ "He's the manager I've been dreaming of my whole career!"
Chuba Akpom dedicates his record-breaking ninth consecutive Championship goal to Michael Carrick, and explains why his game has taken off under him🔥⬇️ pic.twitter.com/4cmzPV68bP
— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) April 19, 2023
United fans would undoubtedly love to see Carrick do the unthinkable and take Boro to the Premier League.