Middlesbrough boss hails big win over Charlton

Patrick Bamford
Patrick Bamford

BORO boss Aitor Karanka was delighted to see three of his strikers get on the scoresheet in a crucial 3-1 win over Charlton which stretched their unbeaten run to six games.

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

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 are now unbeaten in seven matches in the league and Karanka is now 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. I won’t use that as an excuse but it’s going to be a very difficult game.”

It did not take long for Boro to open the scoring against Charlton, who are now without a win in 12.

When Bamford’s glancing header was deflected wide for a corner in the fifth minute, the on-loan forward was left unmarked in the box to head Grant Leadbitter’s set-piece past Marko Dmitrovic.

The home side almost doubled their lead in the 13th minute when Leadbitter charged forward before his powerful shot was deflected inches wide by Addicks skipper Chris Solly.

Bamford went close to a second two minutes later when Tomlin did well to find the striker on the edge of the area, but his shot was well saved by Dmitrovic.

The goalkeeper had to be on his toes again in the 26th minute when Boro attacked and Vossen got a powerful 20-yard shot away which Dmitrovic punched away to safety.

Boro were given a reprieve in the 28th minute when they conceded a free-kick just outside the box, but Gudmundsson’s effort flew over the bar.

The Icelandic midfielder did find the net in the 37th minute, though.

Tony Watt did well before laying off for Gudmundsson and he hammered a first-time left-footed effort which Dimitrios Konstantopoulos could only help into the net.

The Teessiders regained the lead just two minutes after the restart when Tomlin’s shot was charged down, but the midfielder followed through on goal before pulling the ball across goal for Vossen to tap in from six yards.

It was almost three in the 57th minute when Adam Clayton shot through a crowd of players, but Dmitrovic was well placed to scoop it up.

Vossen should have made it three in the 64th minute when Tomlin played him in on goal with a brilliant threaded ball, but the Belgian took one touch too many before Dmitrovic gathered at his feet.

Vossen was in the thick of it again in the 71st minute when he controlled brilliantly with his chest mid-way through the Charlton half. He laid off for Tomlin who played the one-two but Vossen’s shot was deflected wide for a corner.

Boro looked to kill the game off in the 87th minute when substitute Adam Reach broke down the left but his cross was cleared for a corner.

But moments later Boro made sure of all three points when Tomlin volleyed in from the edge of the area.

to complete a comfortable win.