Aitor Karanka: Middlesbrough risk dents Premier League dream

aitor karanka
Karanka's side are level on points with Bournemouth having played a game more

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka is standing by his decision to send goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos up for a corner, even though it could cost the club a place in the Premier League.

The 10-man Teessiders were drawing 3-3 at Fulham when Karanka waved the keeper forward in stoppage time, only for Ross McCormack to break and score a winner.

A draw would have moved them second in the Championship, ahead of Bournemouth.

"I felt one point wasn't enough and we needed three," Karanka said.

"Now I am sitting here, one point might have been enough. But at that time I preferred to take risks so I told him to go.

"When you take a risk and you concede a goal, the following day you can say that it was because you took a risk. But the problem with not taking a risk is that you will never know what would have happened if you did."

Ross McCormack rounds Dimi Konstantopoulos
McCormack evades Konstantopoulos' desperate challenge to complete his hat-trick

Fulham's win, coupled with Norwich's draw at Rotherham, confirmed Watford's promotion to the Premier League.

And, should Bournemouth beat Bolton on Monday, they would effectively secure their place too given their vastly-superior goal difference.

"It will be difficult now because Bournemouth have two more games and one win will be no problem," said Karanka.

"But our aim was to get into the play-offs. We wanted the play-offs two or three weeks ago."

Fulham had led 3-1 after Michael Turner's header and two McCormack penalties.

However, Adam Reach replied for the visitors, who had George Friend sent off with 20 minutes remaining, before Daniel Ayala and Kike restored parity.

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