Is Aitor Karanka fighting for his Middlesbrough future?

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 06 March 2017, 14:56

Claudio Ranieri became the fifth Premier League boss to lose his job this season after Leicester City gave the Italian the boot just under a fortnight ago.

In the aftermath of that shock sacking bookmakers installed "No manager to leave" as the 5/2 favourite in the Premier League Sack Race, however this outcome has since drifted to 6/1 following Middlesbrough's dismal defeat to Stoke on Saturday, which resulted in the confidence-crushed club slipping into the bottom three.

Boro boss Aitor Karanka is now as short as 1/5 (Bet Victor) to become the sixth top-flight gaffer to depart this term, and you can see why after his side's abject performance against the Potters.

A chorus of 'Aitor Karanka, it's time to go home' could be heard emanating out of the away section at the Britannia, but the Spaniard himself remains certain that he can turn things around, while the club's hierarchy are reportedly set to keep the faith in the man who led them back up to the top-flight (Gazette Live).

But, if the club's winless run continues then they may have no option but to make a change in the dugout in order to avoid the dreaded drop back down to the Championship.

Boro, back in the Premier League for the first time since 2008/09, are now without a league win in 10 matches - six of which have been defeats - dating back to mid-December when they beat Swansea 3-0.

Middlesbrough's cautious style of play certainly isn't the most pleasing on the eye. Their 27 league games have featured a league low 49 goals, while they've only found the back of the net on 19 occasions this term, five fewer than any other club.

There are now 11 matches to go until the season comes to a close, and each one is massive for Boro who face daunting duels with Man Utd, Arsenal, Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool, plus crunch clashes with relegation rivals Sunderland, Swansea, Hull, and Bournemouth.

But before Boro can even think about their next league fixture they lock horns with Man City in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on Saturday, and the outcome of this match-up could set the tone for the rest of their season.

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