HEAD COACH Aitor Karanka bemoaned promotion-chasing Middlesbrough’s disappointing display following the goalless draw with Fulham.
Boro slipped to four points behind leaders Brighton after putting in a listless display against a game Fulham side.
In fact, the hosts were perhaps fortunate to leave with a point after Ross McCormark missed a glorious chance to net the decisive goal in stoppage-time.
Karanka was far from pleased with Middlesbrough’s performance, especially ahead of back-to-back away games against Cardiff and Wolves.
“We didn’t play the way we usually do,” he said. “I am especially disappointed with the start because you need to begin well at home.
“We know sides will do this (try to frustrate us), but we have to find a way to win the game – especially at home. We have three games away in two weeks now, so that’s disappointing. I can understand the crowd being frustrated, because I felt the same way.”
He also accused Fulham of time-wasting, although he admitted it had little impact on the result.
The Boro coach continued: “They were always trying to waste time, from the beginning of the game.
“I spoke to the referee at half-time, but I thought it was the same in the second half. However, I thought the score was fair.”
Karanka insisted, too, that he is unconcerned about the table at this stage of the campaign.
Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos, Kalas, Ayala, Gibson, Friend; Clayton, Leadbitter, Downing, Fabbrini (Garcia 80); De Pena (Adomah 57), Nugent. Unused substitutes: Mejias, Stephens, Fry, Nsue, Forshaw.
Fulham: Lonergan (Lewis 77), Richards, Stearman, Burn, Garbutt; Christensen, Tunnicliffe, O’Hara, Pringle (Fredericks 90); McCormack, Dembele. Unused substitutes: Hutchinson, Parker, Kacaniklic, Mattila, Woodrow.
Referee: P Bankes (Merseyside).
Man of the match: Dan Burn.