Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka looking to the future

Spaniard insists he never feared getting the sack after walking out on the club last week

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka has spoken for the first time since he almost left his role with the club, although he has insisted that was never an option.

Karanka walked out of the club on Friday, telling players he would not be back after a row during a team meeting and when he tried to apologise on Saturday, club officials told him to stay away.

This led to huge uncertainty and chairman Steve Gibson gave himself 48-hours - during which the club lost at Charlton 2-0 under assistant Steve Agnew - to consider his options.

Gibson opted to stick with Karanka and the club issued a statement late on Monday confirming he had resumed his role as first-team coach.

However, speaking at a press conference, screened by the club's YouTube channel, Karanka insists that he nor the club were thinking about his future.

"It has been strange days for people who have not been involved in the situation as the club and me had everything clear and the club never thought about sacking me, I never wanted to leave - I was supporting and helping from my house [over the weekend]," he told the club's official website.

"I had a lot of stupid things I laughed about at home and to hear I had problems with players, when they have given everything to me - to put me in this position, so it is difficult to understand a lot of things, I have been a manager for just two years, I am clear, I will leave a changing room if I don't feel the confidence of these players but is not the case as I will fight as I have that in this moment.

"We have to look forward, we have an amazing month in front of us and we will keep going."

Karanka was quick to sound his appreciation to the club's fans for their backing. 

"It is curious for me that sometimes people say I criticise the crowd, like with the players, I am in this position now because of them - this crowd is not behind me but behind the club. We came two, three years ago and there were 10, 12,000 and now we have 20, 22 and even 30,000 supporting this club and it is amazing."

He revealed that he has already met with the playing squad ahead of this Friday's crucial clash with promotion rivals Hull City.

"I want to get promotion, we now have it in our hands - this is the key, I have had a meeting with the players today, the medical staff - everyone who involved with the first-team squad as we have a big month in-front of us and we have to be together. 

"Now I ask the fans for support for the players, if I make mistakes with shape or substitutions I ask for their support, kill me after the game, but I ask them, for the players, for their support."

He believes the game with Hull could help show everyone how solid Boro are as a club.

"This can be a good way for everyone to show what a good group we are, how strong strong a club we are and how together we are, because this is the truth and the only way to show the truth to everyone is the game on Friday - maybe we lose 3-0, 4-0 and maybe we are not strong but that is because football is football but I am really looking forward to the game as we will show how big this club is."


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