Aitor Karanka: Middlesbrough cannot drop home points

Aitor Karanka
Karanka's side have drawn their last two games, but are only three points off top spot

Head coach Aitor Karanka says Middlesbrough cannot afford to drop points at home if they are to maintain their Championship promotion bid.

Karanka's side drew 1-1 with Blackpool at the Riverside on Tuesday, against a side who have yet to win this season and have lost seven of 10 matches.

Boro have also lost two of five home games so far this term.

"These are the kind of games where, if we want to do something, we cannot lose points," Karanka told BBC Tees.

"We lost two and the worst thing for me was the way we played. The players played for themselves and on their own. We have to play as a team.

"I'm angry, but if you see the table, we're three points off the top. We have to take the good things, but speaking about the game I'm not happy."

Daniel Ayala
Daniel Ayala grabbed Boro's goal in Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Blackpool

Saturday's draw at Charlton saw Boro tumble out of the play-off places, albeit at an early stage, and Tuesday's result ensured they remain outside the top six.

Fulham provide their next opponents before the upcoming international break, and Karanka wants the Riverside to be a difficult place to visit.

"It's a very important game because we have to be strong at home," he added. "We lost a lot of points that I don't like to lose in front of a home crowd and we have to win against Fulham.

"Fulham is a team in a 'wrong' position because they have very good players and will be a very difficult game."