What’s pleased Michael Carrick most about Middlesbrough’s Isaiah Jones – and his future hope

Michael Carrick is delighted to have Isaiah Jones back close to his best this season, after the Middlesbrough forward overcame off-field issues to return to form this year.

While Jones, like most Boro players, has suffered injuries that have impacted his season, most importantly, he has been visibly enjoying his football again when he has been fit to play. That, he has said himself, is what ultimately helps him play well, with the right winger scoring seven goals and registering four assists.

While the 24-year-old could improve his end product and provide more goals and assists, the important thing this year as far as Carrick is concerned was just getting Jones back close to the levels he showed the year prior, when he was the breakout star of the 2021-22 season.

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On Jones’ return to the fore this term, Carrick said: “He’s done well and had a big impact over the course of the season. He had a period where he scored a burst of goals. He’s capable of doing that, and probably doing that a little bit more. He’s had an impact in a positive way with his performances though.

“It’s always the perfect world for any player (adding more goals and assists). That’s not particularly just Izzy individually, it’s the case for any player in general. When we consider Manu and his goals return – front players are all striving for that, they all want to score more goals.

“So that’s something, of course, we’d love to see a lot more of. But he’s doing a lot of good things and we hope that he keeps doing those good things and hopefully he’ll get the rewards for it. He is a good player, but I think we have other good players so we don’t pin our hopes on anyone.

“We believe we have a squad full of depth and we’ve had to call on that a lot this season. I feel we are where we are at the moment because of the strength of our squad, when you consider what we’ve gone through. Certainly though, each individual brings their own strengths and we certainly know what Izzy’s strengths are. He’s played really well for the most part.”

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