Carrick hails Akpom after Wigan hat-trick

Michael Carrick, Middlesbrough coach, praised Chuba Akpom for scoring a hat-trick against Wigan on Boxing Day.

Akpom fired a second-half hat-trick against the struggling Latics to move joint top of the Championship’s goal charts – and all three goals were made by Wolves loanee Giles.

After Forss gave Boro the lead at half-time with his third goal of the season, Akpom and Giles took center stage thereafter, and Carrick's side are now just two points out of the championship leaders.

“We spoke at half-time about the key positions in the game and trying to work more space, especially for Duncan (Watmore) and Chuba. Carrick said after the game.

“We felt we could cause them more problems than we did in the first half, and the boys did well, especially in possession.

“We played some terrific football and Chuba got on the end of it. He’ll get the headlines and praise for the goals but it was more the link-up play and the problems he caused them.

“I’m delighted for him. He’s on a right purple patch at the minute and long may it continue.”

Akpom now has nine goals in his last 10 Championship appearances and 12 for the season – level at the top of the second-tier goal charts with Coventry’s Viktor Gyokeres.

Carrick said: “I’ve not spoken to him about that (finishing top scorer), for me it’s all about the team.

“Of course I’d love him to finish top scorer, it would mean as a team we’re playing well and getting the benefits from it.

“It would be an added bonus if he can do that. As long as we’re winning, whether he’s scoring one, two or three, as long as he’s contributing to us winning I’m happy with that.”

This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago

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