March 09, 2015 15:40:44 UK
Aitor Karanka has admitted that the pressure is on his Middlesbrough players in their quest for Championship promotion, but warned they have will to deal with it.
The Boro boss was left frustrated after watching his side crash to a third defeat in five league games on Saturday when they blew a 1-0 lead to go down 2-1 against Nottingham Forest at The City Ground.
Had the Teessiders held on for the win they would be sitting three points clear at the top of the Championship. But the defeat means they are down in fourth spot, albeit level on 66 points with leaders Bournemouth, Derby and Watford who are above them on goal difference.
If you are playing to win something you will face pressure, we have to manage this pressure and have to work in the same way we have been working for the last seven months.
A massive three games are coming up next week, with Saturday’s visit of seventh-placed Ipswich followed by a trip to Derby on Tuesday and a game against Bournemouth at Dean Court the following weekend.
Boro had lost only one game in 18 league matches until the 1-0 home defeat against Leeds on 21st February, but they have gone on to lose two in the space of a week and Karanka feels the pressure is starting to play a part in the tight battle for promotion to the Premier League.
The Spanish tactician told BBC Tees: “To take the pressure off is impossible.
“When I was a player at Real Madrid, Athletic Bilbao and the Spanish national team it was the same. When you want to win something, you can never do it without pressure.
“If you are playing to win something you will face pressure, we have to manage this pressure and have to work in the same way we have been working for the last seven months.”
Boro, who are 1.90 to win promotion this season, can be backed at 1.85 to return to winning ways against Ipswich at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday. Town are 4.20 to win and the draw is 3.50.
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