Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick gives honest verdict on Dan Neil red card

Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick’s ‘surprise’ at Dan Neil red card in win against Sunderland.
Sunderland’s Dan Neil was sent off on the stroke of half time, with that decision proving the turning point at the Stadium of Light.]
Michael Carrick admitted he was ‘surprised’ to see Sunderland’s Dan Neil sent off on the stroke of half-time – but the Middlesbrough boss will not lose any sleep over the decision as his side went on to win 4-0 on Wearside. Neil had earlier been booked for a foul, and in injury-time at the end of the first half he was shown a second yellow card – and the inevitable red – for throwing his arms in the air as he remonstrated from a distance of 20 yards with referee Jarred Gillett over a free-kick he felt the Black Cats should have been awarded.

Sunderland boss Tony Mowbray was furious with the decision which he felt ‘spoiled the game’, but it was no surprise that Carrick was more relaxed as the red card proved the turning point in the match with Boro going on to make their man advantage count in the second period. “I haven’t got a clue, I don’t know what was said or the incident,” said Carrick, when asked for his view on the red card.

“It was a surprise to see it. I don’t know what’s gone on, we just had to make the most of it really.

“Last year we came here and it wasn’t a nice experience [Boro lost 2-0 in January, with defender Dael Fry sent off that day] but today they [the travelling Boro fans] have seen the goals, got the clean sheet and to spend a few minutes with them at the end there, it’s what football was all about.”



Tony Mowbray fumes at red card as he explains what Sunderland's Dan Neil  was sent off for - Teesside Live

Sunderland had been the better side in the first half but it was a different story in the second, as Boro made their numerical advantage count. Former Sunderland academy man Sam Greenwood put Boro in front just before the hour, with Matt Crooks doubling their lead just a couple of minutes later.

Isaiah Jones added the third 20 minutes from time, before substitute Marcus Forss rounded things off in the final minute of normal time. Carrick said: “I’m obviously delighted.


“It’s a terrific result, a really good day, at not an easy place to come. They’re a really good team, we knew it would be challenging but I thought we weathered that and started the game really well.

“The game changed on a couple of moments but playing against ten men can be difficult. We were conscious of that and we wanted to almost play like we had the ten men, that mentality.


“The boys did that so well. We spoke about it half-time. It’s a mentality thing. It’s so easy to assume having the man advantage will make it easier and subconsciously you slow down.


“You then lose your intensity with and without the ball. But we were conscious of that at the break and we said they almost had to work harder with the extra man.


“The boys did well and managed the game ever so well. They looked dangerous which was key.


“You can spend all day having the ball, but if you don’t do anything with it… The scoreline says everything about how good we were with the ball.


“We had a good balance, kept winning the ball back quick and eased the pressure. On paper, the man advantage should always make it an easy one, but it’s not always easy.


“The boys have done so well.”


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