Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka produced a scathing review of his side’s friendly defeat in Spain this afternoon.

Karanka was left bemused by the lack of fight from his players as they slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Spanish third division side Lucena.

Lucena, whose own squad only returned to pre-season training two days ago, outfought the teesiders in a manner that upset the ex-Real Madrid player and assistant manager.

Karanka told GazetteLive:

“We lost against a team that has only been training for two days, they showed us that they are a good team who fight for each other.

“I want the pre-season games to be like a (training) session and I think this game wasn’t enough to count as a session.

“The game was a surprise to me, not because it was a physical game, but because we lost all the fight on the pitch.

“When you are working for two and a half weeks and the other team is working for just two days, I would expect that we were going to win all the battles on the pitch, but we didn’t win one.”

Karanka will be eager to see a quick improvement from his Boro side that are looking to build upon a 12th place finish in the 2013-14 Championship season.


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Rob is an NCTJ journalist trainee, pursuing a career in sports journalism. Derby County fan. Twitter - @robhelliwell23