Boss Lennon fumes at players after heavy loss
lenge to slip in Kike, who calmly slotted between the legs of Adam Bogdan.
And before the the half was out, his deflected shot – turned onto the crossbar by Bogdan – was tapped home by the lurking Kike.
“Diego is a quality player,” said Karanka, who signed the 25-yearold on a season-long loan from Watford. “He is young but he is experienced. This environment is good for him and he has come here convinced he can help us.
“He can also improve himself – I told him just this week that he needs to improve his numbers because he doesn’t score a lot of goals. He must have listened!”
Kike remained at the hub of things, though home-grown hero Downing was also imperious on the left, his first game at the Riverside in six years a masterclass in touch and technique.
And while Bolton did improve in the second period, only luck kept the score down as Kike, Fabbrini, George Friend and debutant David Nugent all missed easy chances.
Nugent arrived from Leicester on Friday for £4m, more than Bolton have spent in more than five years.
Lennon has promised further arrivals but, based on this display, they will need to be of serious quality to avoid a brush with relegation.
“We’ve sold Tim Ream and while that transfer fee maybe won’t be available, it will free up some wages,” added Lennon. “We think we’re down the line with one or two and hopefully that can be sorted by Monday.”
Karanka, meanwhile, says his transfer business is done, with the pursuit of Jordan Rhodes ‘definitely over’ in his own words.
And, after this performance, who would argue they need more firepower?
FAB DEBUT: Diego Fabbrini opens the scoring for Middlesbrough