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.

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Watford452771190494188
2Bournemouth442412892454784
3Middlesbrough452591168373184
4Norwich4524111084463883
5Ipswich4522121170511978
6Derby4521141085533277
7Brentford452291475591675
8Wolves4521121266541275
9Blackburn451616136357664
10Charlton451418135457-360
11Birmingham451515155364-1160
12Nottm Forest451514167067359
13Cardiff451514165560-559
14Sheff Wed451417144248-659
15Leeds451510205061-1155
16Huddersfield451315175875-1754
17Fulham451410216079-1952
18Bolton441312195463-951
19Reading441211214467-2347
20Brighton451016194454-1046
21Rotherham441015194466-2242
22Millwall45914224072-3241
23Wigan45912243961-2239
24Blackpool45413283691-5525
View full Championship table

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