Middlesbrough 0 Leeds United 1: Karanka keen to get ‘back on the horse’ after defeat

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka.
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka.
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Aitor Karanka urged Middlesbrough to immediately bounce back after a 1-0 home loss to Leeds hurt their Sky Bet Championship title hopes.

Alex Mowatt’s third-minute goal meant Boro, who entered Saturday’s early kick-off one point clear at the top of the table, slumped to a first home defeat since August. The result was welcome news for Middlesbrough’s main title rivals Derby and Bournemouth, who played later in the day. But while frustrated at dropping points in a game his side dominated, Karanka knows his men have a chance to make amends when Bolton visit the Riverside tomorrow night.

He said: “Today is the kind of day you cannot explain. We are frustrated because we have done everything to win this game and we haven’t won it.

“I can’t say anything bad about my players because they have done their best. We now have to think about Tuesday against Bolton. I thought the performance was very good. I don’t know how many chances we had. However, we have an important game on Tuesday.

“The best thing is to play again on Tuesday, especially at home. This team always reacts very well after a defeat.”

The game was doubly frustrating given Boro only rose to the summit following Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Birmingham. Karanka added: “It’s difficult to get into first and it’s difficult to stay there. But we have two months ahead and we are capable of doing this job (gaining promotion).

“We have to keep working in the same way because we’re doing really well.”