Reaction: Blues 1 Middlesbrough 4

It is difficult to take today.

Aitor Karanka

Blues Head Coach Aitor Karanka expressed his frustration after Saturday’s loss to Middlesbrough at St. Andrew’s Trillion Trophy Stadium.

The Sky Bet Championship match had appeared to be in Blues’ control until the visitors turned the tide with two goals both before and after the break.

And Karanka reflected the feeling of frustration and disappointment around the camp that followed a game it seemed his side would take so much more from.

The Spaniard explained: “It is difficult to understand. We approached the game really well and the players knew the game plan. We started the game well, we created chances and we scored the first goal. Then we switched off and conceded twice in five minutes. It is then difficult to take this game.”

Karanka continued in his assessment of the encounter and how he is left puzzled by the contrasting fortunes of his team who had recently beaten two sides in promotion contention before suffering a week of defeats.

He said: “The most difficult thing for me to deal with is how different we were a week or two ago to now. I have to face [this problem] as soon as possible because if we keep going in the same way we won’t be a consistent team.

“The players need to realise [that], as it will be concerning that we have played good games. We have recently beaten two play-off teams, so we need to always play in the same way and forget about what might have happened in the past. With how we have played in other games, it is difficult to take today.”

The 47-year-old was speaking to the media after a game in which Blues started brightly and took a deserved lead in the 15th minute through Maxime Colin.

However, a series of four Boro goals without reply extinguished any hopes of his side ending a difficult week with a win.

This result leaves Blues in 17th ahead of their visit to Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day and, keen to get no further hung up on the defeat, Karanka spelt out what comes now to rectify matters.

He said: “It is now a week to recover, to think about what we are not doing good and recover the levels that we showed against Bristol and Reading.”