Middlesbrough boss pleased with Ramirez ahead of Rotherham clash

Gaston Ramirez (left) celebrates scoring against Wolves
Gaston Ramirez (left) celebrates scoring against Wolves

Gaston Ramirez can play a crucial part in Middlesbrough’s attempts to win promotion to the Premier League, according to his boss Aitor Karanka.

Ramirez struck twice during Friday night’s 2-1 defeat of Wolverhampton Wanderers and will be eyeing more goals tonight when Boro travel to South Yorkshire to take on Rotherham United.

You can have a problem if you depend on only one player.

Karanka doesn’t want to place any additional important or pressure on the on-loan Southampton midfielder, but he knows that having someone of the Uruguayan’s talent in the team can only benefit the Teessiders.

“I knew as a player he hadn’t been playing for a few months (when Boro signed him) so we had to look after him,” the Spanish head coach said.

“He was on the bench against Blackburn, so he was rested as I had to manage him.

“It’s difficult to play every three days but he’s playing well, as I expected. He can be really important.”

But, Karanka added, Ramirez should not be relied on to end Boro’s seven-year hiatus from the top-flight.

“He’s living his moment along with all the players,” Karanka continued.

“One day he won’t score goals and another player will play in his position so the main thing is to have more than one player.

“You can have a problem if you depend on only one player. We are in a good position as we have good players.”

Boro go into tonight’s encounter in second place, while Rotherham are a mammoth 35 points worse off and sit third bottom of the league.

But an upturn in fortunes since the arrival of Neil Warnock has reignited survival hopes and Karanka can foresee the clash being one of the season’s most difficult.

“This could be the most difficult game because everyone has three points for us before the game as they are in the bottom positions,” he said.

“It won’t be easy, though. It will be more difficult because they have won their last two.

“Neil Warnock is an experienced, really good manager so it will be a difficult game but we have to learn about last Tuesday (2-1 loss at Blackburn) and Friday.”

Winning is key to their aspirations, too. “It’s a game we have to win if we want to stay in this position,” he insisted.

“We are in a really good position but we need three points.”