Sky Bet Championship: Aitor Karanka happy with Middlesbrough goalkeepers

Aitor Karanka: Feels he has good options in goal

Loading Market ...

Football Betting

Up To £30 Free Matched Bet

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka is confident that the Teessiders will not suffer from the loss of Shay Given.

Given will play the final game of his loan spell from Aston Villa at lunchtime on Saturday as Boro play host to Leeds United in the Sky Bet Championship - a game you can see live on Sky Sports.

The experienced Irish shot-stopper has admitted he is disappointed to miss out beyond the weekend and said: "I'd like to have stayed for the rest of the season but the decision was out of my hands.

"I've had a great time and loved every minute. I'm looking forward to the Leeds game, but quite honestly there's some sadness there - I'm gutted to be leaving."

However, Karanka feels he is well stocked, having signed Tomas Meijas Osorio on loan from Real Madrid to go with fit-again Jason Steele, Dimi Konstantopoulos, Jayson Leutwiler and Connor Ripley.

"I am confident that we will be okay without Shay," said the Spaniard.

"I have my other goalkeepers and it is up to them now.

"We have Tomas from Real Madrid, and Jason who is fit again after his injury. He needs to recover his confidence because to go three months without playing a game is difficult, especially for a goalkeeper. He needs to get his confidence back because goalkeeping is a special position.

"We also have Dimi, Jayson and Connor, so I am happy with the options I have. I don't need to speak to any of them (about the future) because everybody knows the way I work.

"They know that my number one will be the goalkeeper that trains very well. The one who does the best will be the keeper that will play. It could be Tomas or Jason, or it could be neither of them. If Dimi is doing better than them both, then he will be the keeper that plays in the games."

"Villa have said they want their goalkeeper at the moment, and in the future, I don't think there are any more chances of having him (Given) here."

Aitor Karanka

Karanka confirmed that they were unlikely to think about bringing Given back in the future.

"It is not something we will look at again," said Karanka.

"It is not possible. Aston Villa have said they want their goalkeeper at the moment, and in the future, I don't think there are any more chances of having him here.

"We were working until the end to try to keep him because he is happy here and enjoying his football a lot. We tried to keep him, but it was not possible. He brought us a lot of things - his experience, his personality and his professional outlook. For these reasons, he was very important for us."


Meanwhile, Karanka has confirmed that they are looking closely at Luke Williams, who is currently enjoying a very good spell on loan at neighbours Hartlepool United.

"I'm thinking of bringing Luke back because he is a player who I like," he said.

"I am following his progress at Hartlepool and he is doing very well."

"I am happy that Luke has done well because it shows he understood my message.

"If he comes here, he will be a first-team squad player and if he trains well, he will have his chances to play. He played in the FA Cup in January and if he trains well, he will have other opportunities."