Boro’s profligacy is concern to Karanka

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Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka has called on his team to be more ruthless in front of goal in order to boost their Championship promotion push.

They squandered several chances in this scrappy draw with lowly Reading and were also denied by the agility of home goalkeeper Adam Federici.

“We definitely lost two points,” Karanka said. “We created a lot of chances, very clear chances, and it’s been the same story in other games.

“Their goalkeeper was the man of the match. He was brilliant. We didn’t play badly but we have to take our chances.

“We have a lot of players who can score goals but we have to improve in that area.

“We have to take advantage of our opportunities. We will have to work on it every single day in training.”

Since Middlesbrough lost 1-0 at home to Reading in August, they had suffered only two defeats in 19 league matches.

Boro have the meanest defence in the Championship, having conceded only 17 goals, but were also the livelier in attack, in an essentially drab first half.

Adam Reach somehow blazed over and Patrick Bamford tested Federici with a low drive.

After the break, Federici made an agile save to keep out Adomah’s powerful header.

Obita drove straight at Konstantopoulos before Federici produced his heroics near the end. He tipped a 25-yard piledriver from Bamford on to the top of the crossbar and kept out George Friend’s header.

Reading: Federici, Gunter, Hector, Pearce, Obita, Mackie (Karacan 86), Norwood (Guthrie 67), Williams, Robson-Kanu, Pogrebnyak (Blackman 57), Cox. Unused substitutes: Stephen Kelly, Taylor, Andersen, Cooper.

Middlesbrough: Konstantopoulos, Kalas, Gibson, Ayala, Friend, Adomah, Leadbitter, Whitehead, Reach (Garcia 82), Vossen (Tomlin 62), Bamford. Unused substitutes: Husband, Omeruo, Wildschut, Mejias, Veljkovic.

Referee: C Breakspear (Surrey).

Man of the match: Adam Federici.