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Aitor Karanka hails Dimi Konstantopoulos after Middlesbrough win

18 January 2015

Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka praised goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos after he helped keep their promotion challenge alive with a crucial 2-0 win over Huddersfield Town.

Lee Tomlin scored twice in the second half as the Terriers' 29-year wait for a win on Teesside continued.

But Karanka singled out Konstantopoulos for his performance after the Greek shot-stopper pulled off three world-class saves late on.

He first managed to get a hand to ex-Boro man Jacob Butterfield's stinging shot before denying Town striker Nahki Wells twice.

Karanka said: "He's the type of player I would have liked to have in my squad during my playing career.

"He's the kind of player who is always perfect. It's easy to say this now because he was brilliant.

"You can forget he was the fourth goalkeeper when we arrived here. He just worked hard in training every day and kept supporting the other players.

"He was the second goalkeeper when Shay Given arrived last year and he always supported him. He was the second goalkeeper when Tomas (Mejias) arrived last summer and he always supported him.

"So for me, I am very pleased to see him play and do very well for us."

With Sky Bet Championship promotion rivals Bournemouth, Ipswich, Brentford and Watford all winning, it was crucial Boro bagged all three points at the Riverside - but it was touch and go, with Town pressuring late on.

Karanka said: "I'm very confident with my squad and with our strikers. We've scored two and I was very happy when we scored because I thought we would go on and score more. I am still very confident about my squad and about my strikers.

"Every single point is important. Every game is one game less to the end and the points we've lost now is difficult to make up. So three points is very important.

"If we keep playing the way we've been playing, the last three or four games, we'll win most games."

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