Middlesbrough manager Michael Carrick has warned his players about the threat posed by Manchester United loanee Amad ahead of Sunday’s Wear-Tees derby against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
The Ivorian joined Sunderland on a season-long loan transfer in the summer and has been in excellent form in recent weeks. In his last 12 Championship appearances, he has six goals and one assist, establishing himself as a major role for Tony Mowbray’s team.
Not only has he had to adjust to the fast-paced style of the Championship, but he has also had to learn how to play in a variety of positions, having been charged with playing as an attacking-midfielder, striker, and right-winger in recent months. He has made great progress and is regarded as one of the most interesting second-tier talents.
Amad will face former United coach and caretaker manager Michael Carrick, who named him to the Reds’ bench for their 3-2 win over Arsenal back in December 2021. Although the Boro boss has acknowledged Sunderland’s excellent attacking line, he is particularly concerned about the threat Amad will provide.
“Sunderland are a very excellent club with a very good forward line,” Carrick told Teesside Live. “I remember Amad from United. He’s a fantastic footballer who appears to have moved up a notch since the start of the season.
“His performances have improved, and he is a threat. Not only Amad, but Sunderland have other incredibly good players who can turn the game at any time and cause you difficulties.
“That’s why they’re up there right now, posing a threat. Of course, that’s a task, but it’s one we’re up for, and we’re looking forward to the game.”
Amad, who has six goals and two assists in all competitions this season, is a difficult client for Championship defenders to cope with due to his speed and technical abilities. Carrick, on the other hand, is certain that his team will rise to the occasion.
“That’s the challenge,” Carrick said of his teammates’ efforts to halt Amad. He’s a gifted player who is really smooth on the ball and has a nice feel for how he takes the ball. He’s sharp, possesses injection, and has a keen sense of space.
“Obviously, I know him and have kept a close eye on him. He’s difficult to stop since he’s one of the better players, but that’s the difficulty we’re up against. Every week brings new problems and scenarios, but we’ll do our best to prepare.”