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.