Middlesbrough boss Michael Carrick coy on automatic promotion chase despite fifth straight win
QPR were able to hold in-form Boro for 45 minutes at the Riverside, but Carrick's side scored three times in an impressive second half, with the Championship's top scorer Chuba Akpom bagging a double to take his tally to the season to 20.
The forward set Boro on their way to victory when he headed home a cross from Dan Barlaser. Boro doubled their lead when David Webb pointed to the spot 13 minutes from time for a Tim Iroegbunam challenge on Riley McGree. Akpom missed the spot-kick but turned home the rebound. Ilias Chair halved the deficit in the last minute before McGree secured the points for Boro in stoppage time. Boro closed the gap on Sheffield United and automatic promotion to four points, but Carrick insists he is not paying attention to the table. He said: "Genuinely, we're concentrating on ourselves. We had a job to do, it's irrelevant what's going on elsewhere." Carrick made three changes for the game after the midweek win at Bramall Lane and felt that had an impact on the sluggish first-half display. He said: "I'm really happy with the win. The game was what I expected, I expected a really tough game. I didn't think we'd come out of the traps as well as we can for a number of reasons. "The squad is there for a reason and we needed freshness but at the same point it's about keeping that connection. "At half-time I told the lads to keep going, keep believing and we'll get the rewards, and that's what happened in the second half. "We went out in the second half and did what we're good at. I was really pleased."
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