Sacked Aitor Karanka confident Middlesbrough can still hit 20-goal mark this season

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Aitor Karanka has stated that despite his departure he’s confident Middlesbrough will reach the coveted 20-goal mark.

Saying that despite his departure he retains belief in the squad’s ability, recently-sacked Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka today expressed confidence that his former team can reach the 20-goal mark this season.

Speaking a day after he was relieved of his duties at the struggling Premier League club, the Spanish coach said that while their task remains a difficult one, he believes the Teesside club will rise to the occasion and succeed in scoring one more league goal.

“I am sad to leave this wonderful club. I have enjoyed my time here and appreciate the support of fans and the board. While I am no longer manager, I am a supporter and I think they will do it,” said the former Real Madrid player and coach, adding that he had seen enough in training and in previous matches to suggest the players are “more than capable” of scoring a single goal in their remaining 11 league matches.

“People may say it is wishful thinking, but I know the quality of these players. I may not be their boss anymore but I know them, and I believe. If they dig deep, they can do it.”

At press time, Karanka’s remarks were played down by caretaker manager Steve Agnew, who said that while he trusts his squad, he doesn’t want to give supporters false hope.