Aitor Karanka: Middlesbrough boss determined to bounce back

Troy Deeney shoots as Adam Clayton tries to block
Watford's win against Boro pushed the visitors back into fourth place

Head coach Aitor Karanka has faith in Middlesbrough's ability to gain automatic promotion in spite of Monday's defeat by Watford.

Fourth-placed Boro were leapfrogged by the Hornets after the loss, but remain just two points behind leaders Bournemouth with five games to play.

The Teessiders have played four of the top six teams in their last five games.

"We're going to fight until the last second because this team deserves to get promotion," Karanka told BBC Tees.

"As a team we're doing our best. We have to freshen up. The players are distraught but we have to keep going."

Five games to go - Championship promotion race
Brighton (a)Bolton (a)Millwall (a)Rotherham (h)Brentford (h)B'ham (a)
Reading (a)Leeds (a)Nottm Forest (a)Wolves (h)Blackpool (h)M'brough (a)
Sheff Wed (h)M'brough (h)Birmingham (h)Norwich (a)Huddersfield (a)Ipswich (h)
Bolton (h)Rotherham (a)Brighton (a)Fulham (a)Millwall (a)Wigan (a)
Charlton (a)Fulham (h)Sheff Wed (h)Brighton (h)Reading (h)Millwall (h)

Karanka's influence since taking over in November 2013 has taken Boro from 16th place in the Championship to a current play-off place, something he sees as an achievement.

"At the beginning of the season if you have asked people what position they thought Middlesbrough were going to finish this season it would probably be sixth, seventh or eighth," Karanka said.

"Right now we're fourth, after playing against teams like Bournemouth, Norwich, Watford and Ipswich. I'm very proud of the players.

"People who know me know I don't like to lose so we will fight to the end."

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