KARANKA FIND HIS HANGOVER REMEDY
AITOR Karanka was wary of an emotional hangover after Middlesbrough’s midweek win over Manchester United – so three unanswered goals was a perfect hair of the dog tonic.
David Nugent, Albert Adomah and Daniel Ayala secured three points in a game Boro totally dominated, a tough initiation for Charlton’s interim boss Karel Fraeye.
But Boro didn’t take the lead until the hour mark, when Nugent nudged home from inside the six yard box.
Adomah then found the net with a deflected shot from outside the box before Ayala completed the scoring.
And Karanka admitted to fearing the worse with thoughts still very much on their memorable victory at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
“I said that it wasn’t going to be an easy game because it’s difficult to change your head playing Wednesday against Man United in Old Trafford and to play here at home against Charlton,” said Karanka.
“I think it was almost perfect. Of course you can always improve but we’ve won, we’ve kept another clean sheet.
“We are almost with the average of two points per game, we are in the quarter-finals of the Capital One Cup, so we are in the position that we wanted to be in.
"But we have to recover well from Wednesday and this game because we have an important game on Tuesday.”
The Addicks offered little attacking threat throughout and are now without a win in their last nine league games against Boro.
Karanka made seven changes to the side that defeated Louis van Gaal’s superstars in the Capital One Cup and the hosts were always in control.
In a first half of few chances, the best fell to the home side just before the half-time whistle, when Fernando Amorebieta blazed a Stewart Downing cross over the bar.
Boro continued their dominance after the break as Amorebieta again failed to make the best of an opportunity with Stephen Henderson stopping his powerful effort.
But Charlton’s defence could hold out no longer, Adam Clayton’s cross was knocked down and finished clinically by Nugent.
The home side’s pressure again paid off just six minutes later, when Adomah dribbled in from the right and his powerful left-footed strike was deflected into the top corner.
Fraeye’s side had their best effort just over 15 minutes from time, when a diving Dimi Konstantopoulos saved substitute Reza Ghoochannejhad’s effort.
But Boro confirmed their emphatic victory thanks to a powerful header from Ayala after Nugent flicked on Adomah’s corner.
After this heavy defeat, Fraeye is under no illusions about the task at the Valley after he took interim charge following Guy Luzon’s sacking last weekend.
This result keeps the Addicks cemented in the drop zone and extends their winless streak to 11 games in all competitions.
However, the Belgian is determined to remain upbeat, despite seeing his team staying third from bottom.
“Middlesbrough really deserved to win but we were ready to compete with them for one hour,” he said. “We were irritating them as long as the score was 0-0, and then after the goal the difference was big.
“Even at 3-0 down we tried to score a goal to get some positives out the game.
“I’ve had chats with every player here and they all say we are a good side and we don’t need any new bodies.
“Let’s not forget Middlesbrough playing at home are a very good side full of confidence.
“We are a team struggling and the difference was there and it was tough.
“Of course there will not be much of a smile on the face of the players but if we work hard the results will change. The quality is there.”
WE’RE OFF: Middlesbrough’s David Nugent scores their first goal