"He was brilliant" - Chelsea prospect praised for impressive display

Middlesbrough FC Crest

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka says that striker Patrick Bamford was 'brilliant' against Watford.

When Middlesbrough took the decision to sack Tony Mowbray just over a year ago, chairman Steve Gibson decided to go continental with the next appointment at the Riverside Stadium, bringing Aitor Karanka over from Spain.

Maybe a relative unknown in England at the time, Karanka had played for Real Madrid and then taken up assistant manager duties during Jose Mourinho's reign at the Santiago Bernabeu, but when Mourinho left for Chelsea, he chose not to take Karanka with him.

Despite links with the Crystal Palace job, it was Middlesbrough who took a chance on the 41-year-old in Novemberlast year, and it's been little surprise that Karanka has been able to take a number of players on loan from Mourinho's Chelsea.

Last season it was Nathaniel Chalobah and Kenneth Omeruo who made the move from West London to the North East, and this season they have Jamal Blackman, Omeruo and Patrick Bamford in their ranks.

Bamford, a highly rated striker at Stamford Bridge, made a rare start for Boro against Watford on Saturday, and Karanka moved to praise the youngster for his performance.

"I think Patrick is an even better player (than he showed on Saturday)," said Karanka. "I don’t want to say I’m not happy with him because I’m very pleased with his performance. He played very well in a position that is not strange to him but probably isn't his real position."

"I was very happy for him but he can improve," he added. "He is 21 years old so he certainly can improve, and he is a very important player for us. The most important thing was his attitude - Patrick was brilliant."

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