Michael Carrick

Michael Carrick has opened up on how Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho helped him carve out his own managerial style at Manchester United as he takes up his first full-time post at Middlesbrough.

Former United coach Carrick took interim charge of the Reds last November ahead of the club appointing Ralf Rangnick. The former midfielder went unbeaten in his three matches in charge, claiming wins over Villarreal and Arsenal while also overseeing a draw with Premier League rivals Chelsea.

The Reds dramatically announced Carrick was leaving the club just minutes after their enthralling 3-2 win over Arsenal and after being linked with numerous managerial roles since then, he has now landed his first position in the top job. And the former United man has revealed what he learned while playing under Sir Alex Ferguson and Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.

Asked if he has spoken to any of his former bosses before taking the Boro job, he replied: “I spoke to Sir Alex a few times. I’ve spoken to him more since I stopped playing – I didn’t want to get too close to him when I was a player.

I spoke to him a lot. It’s well-documented that he has a real pride and a care about ex-players progressing and being coaches, managers and takes a real pride and care in helping them as well. He’s certainly done that to me and I really appreciate the advice he’s given me.”

Asked how much the Scot had influenced him during their time working together, Carrick added: “Hugely. I thought I knew football to a point until I got to United, and it taught me a whole different way of living, breathing, how to play football, how to win, and it all stemmed from the boss. He was a huge, huge influence, improved my game, made me a better person in all sorts of different ways, so I’ve got a lot to thank him for.”

It was Mourinho who handed Carrick his move into coaching, and he will hope to utilise some of the traits which most impressed him about the Portuguese. Speaking of his former boss, Carrick hinted at being particularly impressed by Mourinho’s eye for his players’ development.

He said: “It’s the little things that you pick up a lot, how he spotted things in players and not necessarily the obvious things. He was really smart and bright at seeing that and predicting how players would turn out, so I learned a lot from him.” It appears the admiration is mutual, with Mourinho explaining ahead of Carrick’s final game as a player in 2018 that he had the qualities to be “a good coach”.

Speaking in May 2018, Mourinho said: “He has qualities that we believe can make him a good coach, and there are many ways to make a bridge. Some guys prefer to study, go to youth football, but in this situation, we decided the bridge can be the bridge – change shirts, dressing rooms and offices and start to be an assistant.

“I give them very good conditions for their evaluation and I think Michael can be very positive for us.”


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