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He fits – Michael Carrick happy to see Dan Barlaser on brink of signing for Boro

Dan Barlaser is on his way to Middlesbrough (Barrington Coombs/PA)
Dan Barlaser is on his way to Middlesbrough (Barrington Coombs/PA)

Michael Carrick has revealed Middlesbrough are on the brink of signing Dan Barlaser from Rotherham – and the head coach cannot wait to begin working with the midfielder.

Barlaser was an interested observer as he watched Boro’s 2-0 win over Watford from a seat in the directors’ box at the Riverside.

Middlesbrough have agreed a deal with Rotherham that will see Barlaser return to his native North East to provide some central-midfield competition for Jonny Howson and Hayden Hackney.

Carrick is looking forward to welcoming the 26-year-old to Teesside and claims a number of different factors have resulted in Boro pushing through a deal.

He said: “It comes down to the character and attitude, and what they can bring to the group. As a midfielder for how we want to play, Dan fits that perfectly.

“When we had the chance and the opportunity to do it, I’m delighted with the way things have gone. I’m looking forward to working with him and trying to help him improve. He’s delighted to have the opportunity to come and learn and be part of the team.

“It’s not just about the pitch and bringing a certain player in, it’s about what goes around the whole situation. He fits. I’ve said before that we’re really specific about what we’re after in certain positions, and it’s not just about taking a good player because they’re a good player. There’s more behind it than that, and Dan fits that perfectly.”

Middlesbrough climbed to third position in the Sky Bet Championship table as they beat Watford, with Chuba Akpom and Marcus Forss both scoring before the break.

Carrick said: “We played some really good football, stuck to the plan, stuck to the organisation, worked hard for each other and it was a real good team performance. In and out of possession, there were some really good things that we’ve got to take forward.”

Watford have slipped below Middlesbrough after they were well beaten at the Riverside, with Slaven Bilic admitting his side made far too many sloppy mistakes.

Bilic said: “Before the game, I couldn’t wait for the game to start. We had seven points from the last three games, so we had confidence, and we had pace up front, somebody to hold the ball, pace on the flanks and everything we wanted in defence and attack.

“Every time we passed the ball correctly, we were there in a good situation, but there’s no point talking about any of that when you do so many basic things wrong. When you pass the ball to the opposition so many times, and slip so many times too.

“It’s impossible to get anything out of the game when you are doing that, and then you concede a goal like that first one – it’s sloppy, there’s no other word for it. In tennis, they call them unforced errors, and we had simple passes that we got wrong.

“If you have 10 of them, and then you slip a few times too, then you lose confidence, you are shrinking, and everything comes after that.”