Michael Carrick urges Middlesbrough to seize opportunity as club reach Carabao Cup semi-finals

Michael Carrick has led Middlesbrough to the Carabao Cup semi-finals. Credit: PA

Middlesbrough head coach Michael Carrick has urged his side to seize the opportunity after reaching the semi-finals of the Carabao Cup.

The Teesside club emerged comfortable 3-0 winners over League One Port Vale on Tuesday night (19 December) thanks to goals from captain Jonny Howson, Morgan Rogers and Matt Crooks.

It is the first time in 17 years that Middlesbrough have reached a major domestic semi-final after losing to West Ham in the 2006 FA Cup while it is the furthest the club have gone in the League Cup since they famously lifted the trophy in 2004.

Chelsea and Fulham are potential semi-final opponents having booked their place last four on Tuesday with Liverpool and West Ham set to face off for the final spot on Wednesday evening.

Carrick has admitted that his side will be the team others want to face when the draw is made but believes his players can take advantage of the opportunity.

Middlesbrough captain Jonny Howson opened the scoring for Michael Carrick's side. Credit: PA

“Sometimes in your career, there are times when you have to make the most of the opportunity when it comes your way," he said. “When the door opens you have to run through it and the boys certainly sprinted through it.

“We’re not stupid. We know whoever’s left in the draw probably wants to play us and see it as a chance to get to Wembley.

“It’s a hell of an opportunity. It’s about us and what we can achieve. You’re in a semi-final and it’s motivation and inspiration itself.

“It was a fantastic attitude and mentality. We’re decimated in terms of numbers in the squad but it’s part of the journey and we’re enjoying it.

“We’re in the semi-final and who would have thought it, it’s a great thing to look forward to. Who knows what will happen next, we’ll see who we get.”

The semi-final draw will take place following the conclusion of Liverpool's clash with West Ham at Anfield. The last four ties will be played over two legs in January.

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