One regret for Matt Crooks at Middlesbrough under Michael Carrick in an otherwise “rewarding” period according to…

Matt Crooks’ one Middlesbrough regret under Michael Carrick in otherwise ‘rewarding’ time.

Middlesbrough head coach Michael Carrick shakes hands with Matt Crooks after his equaliser rescued a point at Bristol City

Matt Crooks acknowledges that not having the chance to play in Michael Carrick’s midfield during his final 18 months at Middlesbrough is his one regret.

Crooks, who chose to sign with MLS team Real Salt Lake, just finished his nearly three-year tenure at the club. During his time there, he left a lasting effect, winning over fans and earning the nickname “Tree.” But believing the writing was on the wall and with his game-time becoming less regular under Carrick, he seized the chance to finally fulfill his dream of moving to the United States last month.

Crooks, who speaks highly ofMiddlesbrough head coach Michael Carrick shakes hands with Matt Crooks after his equaliser rescued a point at Bristol City Boro and the supporters, eventually enjoyed his time at the club. That includes Carrick, for whom the former Manchester United supporter has the utmost regard. Despite this, he says his one regret of the last 18 months under Carrick is that he was never given an opportunity as a member of the midfield two. He has played as an attacking midfielder and a striker for the Boro boss.


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“I was playing with a hernia for about three months,” Crooks said on the Boro Breakdown Podcast. “I went to Munich for surgery when Leo was in interim charge.” That meant I was not with the gaffer for the first ten or so days. I was enthralled with the football style he seemed to want to play right away when I saw the games.

I believe Woody pulled me and told me, ‘We think you’re a striker,’ when I returned. Not getting a shot in the midfield two would probably be my only real regret from the last eighteen months since the boss arrived. That seems like it would have fit me better, personally. Under Neil Warnock, I did that to some extent with [Martin] Payero.

“It’s quite different to play as a striker, running in behind the goal with your back to the net. It’s not really something I’ve done in my professional life. It’s okay; the manager and his staff clearly had different ideas, so I never had the chance to play in midfield. Justly speaking, if someone.

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