Boro scored three goals for the first time since returning to the Premier League, courtesy of a brace from Alvaro Negredo before half time and rare goal for Marten De Roon after the interval.
Yet, despite moving four points clear of the relegation zone after beating a direct rival, the Boro boss believes his side can play much better.
The result is all that counts
“We’ve won the game with our worst performance of the season,” said the Spaniard.
“In the past few weeks I have been pleased with the performance but not with the result, but today I am very happy with the result but not with the performance”
Like against Hull City a week ago, Karanka acknowledged the pressure his players were under on home soil. Swansea were just three points behind Boro before kick-off and a defeat would have dragged the Teessider’s deep into a relegation battle.
“It’s been a difficult game, the third game in one week and it was really difficult against a direct opponent, but today is a massive win and the performance is the last thing (that matters).”
When asked about what he was specifically unhappy about, Karanka replied: “With everything, with our preparation without the ball, with our play when we had the ball, until we scored the first goal I was really really upset,” he admitted
“But you have to understand the players and for them it was a game with a lot of pressure.”
Points on the board is the most important thing
Karanka then went on to reiterate the need to get points on the board ahead of a busy Christmas schedule.
“Sometimes you win not playing as well as you would like to play - like today,” he said
“But the main thing for me is to keep adding points on the table and to keep adding experience.”
Despite Karanka’s overall assessment, Boro created more chances than they did against Southampton and Liverpool in their previous two game.
"The main thing is to create chances. We created a few and scored three goals,” acknowledged Karanka.
When asked about Negredo, who scored his first double at the Riverside since his move to Teesside in the Summer, Karanka responded by saying: “He knows how important he is for us and when he is not scoring he is working hard for the team.”
Karanka had no news on Viktor Fischer, who limped off injured after just 11 minutes.
Karanka dedicates win to Leo Percovich
The Boro boss dedicated the victory to his goalkeeping coach and good friend Leo Percovich, who ruptured his Achilles' heel yesterday and is set to undergo surgery next week.
“I would like to dedicate this win to my goalkeeping coach Leo because he got injured yesterday, a serious injury, and we are going to miss him for a long time so this win is for him.”