KARANKA FIND HIS HANG­OVER REM­EDY

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Nigel Miller

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.”

PIC­TURE: Ac­tion Images

WE’RE OFF: Mid­dles­brough’s David Nu­gent scores their first goal

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