Premier League Karanka draws hope from Middlesbrough's second half

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka saw reasons for optimism following his side's second-half display against Tottenham

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Aitor Karanka believes Middlesbrough showed they can compete with the Premier League's best, despite going down 2-1 to Tottenham at the Riverside.

Middlesbrough were keen to show what they are made of after last week's 3-1 loss at Everton, but they struggled in the opening 45 minutes as Son Heung-min netted twice to give Spurs a 2-0 lead.

A Ben Gibson header saw Boro get back in the game and Karanka focused on that positive, despite his side being unable to level matters in the remainder of the game.

"We knew that we could not make the same mistakes we did last weekend against Everton," Karanka told reporters.

"The first half was frustrating because this week we have been working really hard on the training ground. 

"The second half was completely different and it was a good example of the team we want to be. For us the second half was really good.

"We have one week to decide if we want to be the team from the first half, or the team from the second. If we play like the second half team we will win games.

"We are a team with spirit, that has been fighting for the last two-and-a-half years."

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