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Carayol is ready to shine
IN his first two appearances in a Middlesbrough shirt, Mustapha Carayol has impressed – only to be rocked by injury.
After the international break, Carayol is hoping his fitness problems are behind him and he can finally start to shine in the Championship with his new club.
The winger’s only outings so far have been in the Capital One Cup. On both occasions he was a threat in the victories at Bury and Gillingham although suffered frustration along the way.
After recovering from a tight hamstring at Bury, he has spent the international break trying to recover from a knee problem picked up at the Priestfield Stadium.
He hopes to have made enough progress to be in contention to face Ipswich Town in the league on Saturday – and he is keen to make an impact in the second tier of English football.
Carayol, after turning down other opportunities to move on in the past in favour of a £300,000 switch to Boro, wants to show he can play in the Championship and beyond.
“We’re all aiming for promotion – that’s what we have to go for,” said Carayol.
“I had interest from a few clubs, but I made it clear to everyone at a pretty early stage that I wanted to come here. From the minute the gaffer came to watch me and made it clear he was interested, my mind was made up.
“Obviously it took a long time to happen over the summer, but I’m happy to be here and happy to be playing. It was good to get my first goal early on and hopefully I can kick on and get a few more.”
Carayol accepts his first few months as a Boro player have been frustrating, even though he scored his first goal for the club at Gillingham.
It was a sweet goal too, taking on two defenders and powering a low drive into the bottom corner.
“To be fair, I picked up the ball in a good area of the field. My first instinct was to slip in Marvin Emnes , but the centre-half blocked my run, so I carried on running in a different direction and managed to get past the last defender,”
the 24-year-old recalled.
“Thankfully, I kept the ball down and it was a decent finish in the end. It happened that quick that I didn’t even realise where I was. It was just off instinct and I’m happy to have got my first goal and set the team off for a good win on the night.
“I’ve been struggling a bit with my hamstrings. I’d only had three proper training sessions before that Gillingham game so it was nice to get back and get some minutes under my belt. Hopefully I’ll be ready whenever called upon next time.”