Karanka hands Boro flops chance to atone

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka.
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka.
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AITOR KARANKA has challenged his Middlesbrough side to show that last weekend’s loss at Ipswich was a one-off.

Boro, who welcome Nottingham Forest today, having beaten the East Midlanders on Teesside just once since 1973 , head into the game reeling from a 2-0 defeat at Portman Road where they were outplayed and outfought.

It was an uncharacteristic performance from high-flying Boro but Karanka has elected against making wholesale changes and will give a second chance to those who lined up at Ipswich.

Karanka, who will be joined in the dug-out by new assistant coach Steve Agnew from Leeds, said: “I used to be a player at Real Madrid with John Toshack and after the game I had the same feelings that he used to have on the bus.

“He always said after the game that he would change 11 players for the following game.

“On Tuesday or Wednesday, he would change five or six then by Friday it was down to two or three and Saturday he would end up playing the same team!

“It is difficult as we have another game on Sunday, so I have to choose the best 11 for Friday, but not forgetting we have another game.

“Ipswich was a very bad game. I was angry after because I didn’t like anything I’d seen on the pitch.

“But it is no coincidence that we are in the position we are in the table, and I want to think that this was just an accident.”

Last six games: Middlesbrough DDDWWL; Nottingham Forest WWLDDD.

Referee: S Duncan (Northumberland).

Last time: Middlesbrough 1 Nottingham Forest 1; March 11, 2014; Championship.