Michael Carrick fires Chelsea warning and makes 'focus' admission ahead of Carabao Cup semi-final second leg

Middlesbrough will arrive at Stamford Bridge with a 1-0 advantage from the first leg at the Riverside Stadium.

Middlesbrough manager Michael Carrick says his players should be able to keep their focus ahead of the most important week of their campaign. Boro will take on Rotherham United this weekend before travelling to London for their Carabao Cup semi-final second leg against Chelsea

Only 90 minutes stand between them and a place at Wembley for the final and Chelsea will have to overturn a 1-0 deficit from the first leg to knock them out. Asked how he's been warming up for the next two games, the Boro manager said: "It's all about focus and should be (easy to compartmentalise). It's the next game, it's massive. We have everything to play for. 

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

"We're in a position that we've built to throughout the season. The focus is always on what's next. Yeah, Tuesday is big but for us, as professionals, Saturday is everything.

"It can be difficult to shut a big game like Chelsea off as a player, but it's our job. It's what we're here for. The next game is always the most important. The league is vital in terms of what we want to do and where we want to end up. It's plain and simple." 

The Chelsea challenge

Chelsea dominated the first leg at the Riverside Stadium but were made to pay for their lack of proficiency in front of goal. They will look to correct that on Tuesday night and reach the final at Wembley. The last time they won the League Cup was in 2015, and ironically it was manager Mauricio Pochettino who was the opposing manager that day, as his Tottenham side lost to the Blues

They have struggled in the league so far under Pochettino, but reaching Wembley and winning the Cup could be the catalyst that finally gets this new Chelsea project off the ground.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.