Middlesbrough boss pleased with victory at Yeovil

Boro's Danny Graham
Boro's Danny Graham

AITOR Karanka was conscious the effect relegation had Yeovil’s performance but nevertheless expressed pleasure in the manner of victory.

Three goals in 12 first half minutes, interjected by a James Hayter equaliser for the hosts, put Middlesbrough on the way a victory which was rounded off by an acrobatic finish by Emmanuel Ledesma.

The Spaniard depicted a content manager afterwards, revelling in his side’s finish in the last eight Championship games – most notably installing a winning mentality that he has craved.

“I am very pleased because it would not have been the same to finish the season losing,” he said, reiterating the importance of victory even if it didn’t have any implications on standings.

“We were good, we created a lot of chances.

“It was good to me because the players played the game in the same way as we always play – for the points.

“And it’s important for me it’s always important to win games because this creates a winning mentality.

“I am happy with my team again and we have finished with six wins in the last eight games.”

He added of the Glovers: “I think it wasn’t a real test because it was difficult for them to play, with them being relegated last week.

“But it was good because players like Manu, Danny and Tomo and have finished the season scoring goals.”

Karanka made five changes to his team from last Saturday’s win against Barnsley, goalkeeper Jason Steele playing for the first time since the head coach’s first game as boss at Leeds in November.

Injury-plagued defender Seb Hines also played and though he was rustic in the opening exchanges he grew into the game, while Steele was a commanding figure and even scribed a tick onto the assist tally chart after his long-ball fed Tomlin through.

“Their attitude has been perfect with me the last four months,” he told SportMail.

“Both deserved to play.

“Jason has been unlucky because he had an operation and Seb had a lot of injuries.

“I put them on the pitch because they are very good professionals.”

Karanka will today begin to formulate plans for next season and told of his plans “to stay in Middlesbrough for the next two weeks because I need to work towards next season.”