Ahead of Plymouth Argyle’s 750-odd mile round trip to the North-East this weekend; Jack May spoke with Boro Breakdown Podcast host Jonny to find out a little more about Middlesbrough’s season and life under Michael Carrick.


You’re currently sitting 13th in the Championship, having finished last season in 4th. What’s changed to make this season a bit less fruitful for you?

It’s been a combination of things which have really dictated Middlesbrough season. Key players leaving (Akpom, Archer, Ramsey, Giles) and replacing a lot of players with lesser known players & injuries – we’ve had so many, it’s been 12-14 players out for most of the season.

Finally home form, we’ve really struggled to get going but as mentioned the accumulated factors have really played a part in that.


What were your expectations at the start of the season?

Playoffs – and you never know, with a bit of luck, we may still manage it!


With 14 games left to play, what is the Middlesbrough goal for the run in? Are you envisioning a last ditch play-off push? You’re currently only 7 points off the final place.

We had a taste of it last season – so that has to be the aim again, if not it’s building for next season.


You had gone 5 games without a win before a massive 2-1 win over Leicester last weekend. Do you see that win as a turning point in your fortunes?

Ha! – It’s very typical Boro – do the double over the league leaders but can’t beat Rotherham United. I hope it is a turning point though, I’d love a good run in.


You signed Finn Azaz from Aston Villa in January, after a highly successful couple of loan spells here at Argyle. What was the fan reaction to the signing and how has he been getting on?

I couldn’t believe we signed him for a reported £2.5m, it’s an absolute steal! I love Finn Azaz, all I can see is him growing into being a wonderful footballer for us. Surprisingly we had a section of fans who didn’t initially take to him at first but after 2 in 2, he’s got most on board.


You’ve sold a few players to big clubs in recent years, including Djed Spence, Marcus Tavernier and Morgan Rogers. Do you have any players currently that you’re either desperate to hold onto despite interest from bigger clubs, or that you would be happy to see sold on for some big money?

There’s 3 players we could definitely get good money for: Hayden Hackney, Rav Van Den Berg & Riley McGree.

I’d hate to see all 3 to go, but I’m fully expecting Hackney to be off in the summer. Potentially Rav too.


How do the fans feel Michael Carrick is doing as boss? According to my research he currently has a win rate of 54% – the highest in Middlesbrough’s history.

Still love Michael Carrick. I’d say it’s been a great year for him in terms of developing as a manager due to all of the injuries, our bad start and losing key players as it’s only going to make him better in the future. I hope he continues to manage us for many years to come.

Editor: Jonny has also mentioned on a previous Preview Podcast that he expects Michael Carrick to be England manager one day – huge praise! 


Who do we need to watch out for on Saturday? Who’s likely to cause us a few problems?

Finn Azaz (sorry), and Riley McGree.

Editor: Finn Azaz scoring against us on Saturday. It’s nailed on – isn’t it?


What about weak areas? Where should we be looking to exploit to try and pinch the win?

Try and control the central areas. We’ve really struggled against box midfields so this may suit Plymouth a lot based on your current set up.

We’ve been poor at home, so Plymouth should come to Middlesbrough with confidence of getting something.


Any thoughts on our side and who may cause a couple of issues for you?

I think you’ve been really unfortunate with the latest run of games and with the loss of key players in January I think it’s been really tough start to the new year. However, I’ve really enjoyed watching Plymouth over the last couple of seasons in league one and now the Championship and this is going to be a difficult game for us.

Naturally, you think Whittaker. However, I really like Bali Mumba – he’s a brilliant talent.

Interested to see how Souza plays too.


Before you go – we make the mammoth journey up to the North-East this weekend and while we’re there we simply have to try a Parmo! Where do you recommend we visit? 

Has to be Manjaros! It’s fairly close to the stadium, in the middle of town.


Score prediction?

2-0 Boro!


Thanks for chatting and good luck for the rest of the season.