Karanka con­fi­dent of sur­vival

Middlesbrough Herald & Post - - SPORT -

AITOR Karanka is con­vinced his Mid­dles­brough team “will sur­vive” this sea­son.

Satur­day’s 1-0 de­feat at Crys­tal Palace left Boro just one point above the Pre­mier League drop zone in 18th.

And if Le­ices­ter City beat Liver­pool at the King Power Sta­dium in tonight’s game, Karanka’s team will drop to 17th, just one place above the bot­tom three.

The Boro boss cut a frus­trated fig­ure af­ter the Palace match at Sel­hurst Park, which was de­cided by Pa­trick van Aan­holt’s 34th minute win­ner.

He was asked if his play­ers were aware of the club’s per­ilous po­si­tion at the wrong end of the table.

He an­swered: “We know but the only way to keep go­ing is to stay to­gether and we don’t have ex­pe­ri­ence in this sit­u­a­tion, but I’m sure we will sur­vive.

“If I don’t be­lieve (we will sur­vive) it’s time to go home.”

On the game it­self, Karanka was crit­i­cal of his play­ers’ firsthalf per­for­mance and ap­proach com­pared to a much im­proved dis­play af­ter the break.

“I thought that ev­ery­body knew but in the first half we looked like we didn’t re­alise how im­por­tant this game was,” he said. “I don’t want to say the at­ti­tude but the way that we ap­proached the game has been com­pletely dif­fer­ent in the first half than in the sec­ond half.

“I knew that this game was re­ally im­por­tant, but we haven’t ap­proached the game in the way that we had to ap­proach it.

“I don’t want to say they didn’t have com­mit­ment be­cause the only way to be suc­cess­ful and to sur­vive at the end of the sea­son is to go to­gether.

“But if you were in the stand you could see the sec­ond half was com­pletely dif­fer­ent than the first one.”

“I am dis­ap­pointed be­cause I don’t know why we didn’t go to the pitch in the first half in the way that we did in the sec­ond.

“We knew that to­day was go­ing to be a tough and an im­por­tant game, and I’ve been show­ing videos why we need to stop a goal or to have a re­ac­tion, and to­day I thought that we were go­ing to have that re­ac­tion from the be­gin­ning of the game and we didn’t.”

Boro were cheered on by al­most 2,900 fans at Sel­hurst Park and Karanka urged them to keep their faith in the squad.

When asked what his mes­sage was for the sup­port­ers he said: “The same mes­sage that I al­ways say, we can’t for­get where we were three years ago and now we are out­side the rel­e­ga­tion po­si­tions and in the quar­ter-fi­nals of the FA Cup and to be­lieve in this group of play­ers be­cause they tried to do their best.”

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