Middlesbrough 2 Fulham 0: Karanka is remaining grounded as Boro rise

Aitor Karanka
Aitor Karanka
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Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka was thrilled after his side moved to within a point of Championship leaders Norwich with this win over Fulham.

After Adam Reach’s opening goal just after the interval, the Cottagers wasted three good chances before Albert Adomah doubled Boro’s lead in the 82nd minute to seal the three points.

Karanka’s side are now fifth in the table and they have extended their unbeaten run to six league matches.

“I’m very happy with our position in the table and pleased because our performance was very good,” said the Boro boss.

“We played against a very good team, who are working well with the new manager and will be in a high position at the end of the season.”

The first half was a nervy affair – although Boro did almost take the lead when Adomah hit a post in the 15th minute – but Karanka was delighted with the response of his side after the interval.

He said: “In the first half we didn’t play in the way we are used to playing. We are not comfortable when we don’t have the ball and we were running behind them. In the second half we were more confident when we had the ball and we did well.”

But he is refusing to get carried away with his side’s lofty position, given it is only October.

He added: “This team is improving every single day. One point off the top?

“I want to be in that position at the end of the season – that’s my job.”

Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos, Fredericks, Ayala, Omeruo, Friend, Clayton, Leadbitter, Adomah, Tomlin (Vossen 67), Reach (Nsue 90), Garcia (Whitehead 83). Unused substitutes: Gibson, Luke Williams, Wildschut, Blackman.

Fulham: Bettinelli, Hoogland, Bodurov, Burn, Amorebieta (Smith 78), Parker, Christensen, Stafylidis (George Williams 59), Ruiz (Roberts 70), McCormack, Rodallega. Unused substitutes: Kiraly, Woodrow, Hyndman, Kavanagh.

Referee: D Drysdale (Lincolnshire).