Karanka defends ‘amazing’ Valdes

Middlesbrough coach Aitor Karanka has defended Victor Valdes after the goalkeeper’s mistake against Burnley cost the club all three points in Monday’s 1-0 Premier League defeat.

Valdes allowed a speculative Andre Gray volley to squirm past him in the 80th minute despite the fact that the effort went straight at the 34-year-old. The former Barcelona number one endured a shaky start to his career at the Riverside Stadium, although he was seemingly starting to come into his best form in recent times.

However, his error against the Clarets cost Boro, and some were quick to criticise the shot-stopper after the contest. As such, Karanka has jumped to his countryman's defence. 

He told reporters: "I do not have 'responsibles' in my team. We win as a team and lose as a team. Victor is an amazing keeper – you don't have to look at when he played in Barcelona to see that.

"Just look at the last month where he’s saved us a lot of times. So I can't understand why we have to criticise him."

The Teesiders return to action with a challenging trip to Old Trafford on New Year's Eve to face in-form Manchester United. If Karanka retains faith in Valdes, it could be a chance for the former Spain international to redeem himself against a United outfit in some red-hot form.

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