Aitor Karanka hails "positive point" in goalless draw with Everton

Aitor Karanka hails "positive point" in goalless draw with Everton

Aitor Karanka has stated that 0-0 draw with Everton produced a "positive point".

Danial Kennedy

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka, has stated that his side took a "positive point" in the 0-0 draw with the high-flying Everton.

Perfect performance and attitude

Many fans will have been wary of welcoming Ronald Koeman's side to Teesside, having defeated AFC Bournemouth 6-3 the previous Saturday.

It was the home side that put in a great performance however, with goalkeeper Victor Valdes producing an inspired performance and Boro having a number of opportunities to snatch it.

Those chances mainly came in the second period with Cristhian Stuani, Ben Gibson, Adlene Guedioura, Alvaro Negredo and Rudy Gestede all coming close, but Karanka stated that it was a good point to gain in fight for Premier League survival.

"The performance and attitude was perfect," Karanka said during his post-match press conference. "Against a really good team, who came in really good form."

"Once again like we did in our last games against West Ham, West Brom and Tottenham we competed against them," he stated. "It's a positive point."

"The last four games against teams in the top half we have competed and should have won some of them, that's the way," he added. "When we are playing against teams in the relegation battle we should win."

Sensational Spaniard

It can be said that the major reason behind Boro's point at the Riverside Stadium was goalkeeper Valdes, who made three or four great saves from the likes of Romelu Lukaku and Ademola Lookman.

It has been a difficult a few years for Valdes but seems to have found his rhythm once again since his summer arrival, and Karanka praised the efforts of the former Barcelona stopper.

"Victor has been amazing for us since he arrived," he said. "He needed to recover his confidence and in the time it took to recover that confidence he was really important outside the pitch and now he is really important on the pitch."

"The last year or two years have been really difficult for him," the Spaniard admitted. "It is not easy to play in Barcelona when you have to save once or twice in the game then to play at Middlesbrough."

"I am really pleased for him," Karanka concluded. "Because the first thing that I told him when I was trying to convince him that he was not finished with enjoying again to play football."

Middlesbrough will take on Oxford United in the fifth round of the FA Cup at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday, February 18 with kick-off at 3pm GMT.