Middlesbrough must recover quickly for next Premier League assault

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka

Aitor Karanka says Middlesbrough will not dwell on their failure to achieve promotion to the Premier League when they begin pre-season.

The Boro manager witnessed his side produce their most disappointing performance of the season on Monday as they lost 2-0 to Norwich City in the final of the Championship play-offs.

My objective was to put Middlesbrough Football Club in the Premier League and I said always that I choose the best players to do that

Aitor Karanka

Defeat meant that the Teessiders missed out on an estimated £130million windfall but despite that chairman Steve Gibson is still expected to back Karanka with his fortune to help the Spaniard propel the club back to the top-flight.

A key ingredient in succeeding is not to still be bemoaning the defeat when the players reconvene at Rockliffe Park in early July.

“It’s not possible to start our pre-season in one month a half thinking about last season,” the former Real Madrid player and coach said.

“They need to recover again as soon as possible.

“We have to think where we came from and where we are now. This club is improving every single day.”

Karanka is optimistic about next season but knows that reinforcements are needed to bolster his squad.

Prioritising a centre forward who can score at least 20 goals, Karanka is also keen on buying players with a know-how of winning promotion.

He added: “My objective was to put Middlesbrough Football Club in the Premier League and I said always that I choose the best players to do that.

“We need two experienced players because experience, I know, is hard but especially for the players when they were excited.

“After this season I am thinking the same - I am with the best group and the best chairman.

“Watford, it took three seasons (actually seven), Burnley (four) and Leicester (nine) also (to return to the Premier League). Norwich was one season and Bournemouth did an amazing job – it is not easy (to get promoted)

“For this reason I prefer how to think about this season for us. How big a step we have done in the league.

“We look forward to next season.”