Karanka praises Middlesbrough fans after first home win

Karanka praises Middlesbrough fans after first home win

The Boro boss was happy to claim a first three points of the season at the Riverside but was disappointed to lose Gaston Ramirez to suspension

Sam France

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka has paid tribute to the support from the home crowd after leading his side to their first win at the Riverside Stadium this season.

A polished performance, punctuated by a moment of magic from Gaston Ramirez and a tidy team goal finished off by Stewart Downing, was enough to seal a 2-0 victory against Bournemouth and move Boro away from the relegation zone.

The match was preceded by a huge display from fan group Red Faction, celebrating the club's 140th year of existence since its foundation in 1876, and Karanka was pleased to have rewarded the fans with three vital points.

"We needed a performance like that," Karanka told the club's official website mfc.co.uk. "It was especially important at home in front of our crowd".

Karanka noted that the transition from winning almost every home game in the previous two seasons in the Championship to struggling for points on home soil in the Premier League had been an uneasy transformation, but that the win over Bournemouth proved that "we are going the right way".

Boro get rewards for improved form

After a difficult run of form which saw some national pundits tip Boro for a spot in the bottom three come the end of the season, the Teessiders have bounced back since winning a merited point away to Arsenal a week ago.

"Over the last three games we have played very well," Karanka went on to say. "But today we were very strong".

As well as praising his side's collective performance as a team, the Spaniard was keen to single out goalscorers Ramirez and Downing for special treatment.

"Gaston and Stewy today, as well as being part of the goals, their team performance was good."

'Amazing' Ramirez to miss Man City trip

Ramirez will be unavailable for this weekend's daunting trip to face Manchester City after earning his fifth yellow card of the season against Bournemouth.

Downing is likely to slip into the number ten role in his absence, though Adam Forshaw could be pushed forward from his deeper midfield role as an alternative.

Either way, Karanka is keen for Ramirez to learn from the experience of missing potentially the club's most glamorous fixture of the season so far.

"It's difficult, but we have a lot of players to replace him," Karanka told the Gazette after the game.

"It's good for him to learn that you can't always take yellow cards for complaining to the referee and we have other players to play".

Despite this warning, the manager was eager to praise the mercurial Uruguayan after his excellent performances against Arsenal and Bournemouth and described him as an "amazing" player at his peak.