Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka was pleased with his side’s performance after their goalless draw with Leicester at the Riverside.
Boro monopolised possession after half time but only managed one shot on target in a game which yielded few goal scoring opportunities.
Even so, Karanka was keen to look at the positives after his side’s second encounter with the Premier League champions this season.
"We played better than then home and away"
“I am really pleased with the performance,” said the Boro boss “We were better than them away from home, and once again we played better than them today.”
After famously lifting the title in May, Claudio Ranieri’s side have struggled away from home this campaign and are yet to win a league game away from the King Power Stadium. However, Karanka still believes that Leicester are a top side.
“We can’t forget that they are playing in the Champions League and won the league last season,” he said.
“They have really good players and a really good team so for us to play against them twice in one month and show everybody that we can win both games we should be pleased”.
United defeat was tough to get over
Like many other Premier League sides, Boro were playing their second match in the space of three days, after losing 2-1 at Manchester United on New Year’s Eve.
“It was really difficult after our defeat last Saturday at Old Trafford to recover, especially from the mental points of view,” said Karanka.
“But once again they (the players) showed that they are a really strong group and are working hard.”
Traore has a bright future
When asked about Adama Traore - who looked lively whenever he received the ball but often lacked an end product whenever he reached the opposition’s penalty area - Karanka said.
“He’s improving, he is learning and he has a lot of good things in front of him in his future.”
“Last season he didn’t play (for Aston Villa) so this is the first season that he is competing at this level and the more that he improves the better it will be for the team”.
Karanka unconcerned by lack of goals
Boro have scored just 17 goals all campaign, which is the joint lowest in the division alongside Hull City, however Karanka isn’t worried about his side’s lack of goals.
“The main thing is that we are creating chances,” said the Spainaird. “Against Swansea a few weeks ago we scored three goals, we couldn’t score today but the players are doing a really good job,” he added.
“We can’t forget that we were in the Championship last season so we have to be organised and try not to concede goals, then at least we can’t lose the games”.