Middlesbrough 3 Charlton 1: Goal difference could be key, says Karanka

Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka (Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire).
Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka (Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire).
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Middlesbrough chief Aitor Karanka was delighted to see three of his strikers get on the scoresheet in a win over Charlton which stretched their unbeaten run to nine games.

Patrick Bamford, Jelle Vossen and Lee Tomlin scored the goals for Boro as they maintained the pressure on the top two.

Karanka said: “Football’s about goals and when you have strikers like ours it’s important they’re all scoring, and that’s what’s happening at the moment. We’re going to need all of them.

“It’s a very important win, especially when we’ve not played our best performance especially in the first half.

“We didn’t really push on from the first goal. It seemed like it was the worst thing for us to have happened to score so early.

“With all the plaudits after the (Manchester) City win, then when you score after five minutes you can think everything’s done, and, of course, they were wrong. We needed to change our mentality and needed to change the way we were playing.”

Boro have won five straight game and Karanka is keen to keep that run going.

He said: “Goal difference could be really important at the end of the season and any point you lose now is difficult to recover again, because Bournemouth and Derby are winning their games and we have to keep winning in the same way.

“It’s another very difficult game coming up at Blackpool. Everyone can think it’s easy because Blackpool are at the bottom, but the pitch isn’t good.”

Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos, Fredericks, Omeruo, Gibson, Friend; Clayton, Leadbitter, Adomah (Reach 72), Tomlin, Vossen (Garcia 89); Bamford (Forshaw 72). Unused substitutes: Whitehead, Kalas, Woodgate, Mejias.

Charlton Athletic: Dmitrovic, Solly, Ben Haim, Onyewu, Fox, Gudmundsson; Buyens (Lepoint 85), Veljkovic (Jackson 35), Cousins; Church (Vetokele 58), Watt. Unused substitutes: Wilson, Gomez, Bikey, Etheridge.

Referee: T Kettle (Rutland).

Man of the match: Lee Tomlin.