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MIDDLESBROUGH 1 - 1 BRIGHTON | KARANKA

Karanka: "People thought I was mad for mentioning promotion"

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka said he is "proud" of the work done over the past two and a half years to put Boro back in the Premier League.

Karanka: "People thought I was mad for mentioning promotion"
Craig Brough REUTERS

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka said he is "proud" of the work done over the past two and a half years which culminated today with Boro being promoted back to the Premier League. 

The 42-year-old added that most people thought he had a screw loose to even suggest that the objective was to take the team to the top flight when he took over from Tom Mowbray at Riverside in 2013. "It's impossible to describe with words what I feel right now. We've done a great job over the past two and a half years and none of us are prouder than the president, the players and the fans we have", a Karanka overcome with emotion said as fans raced onto the field to congratulate him and the team.

"We deserve to be in the Premier League. Thank you to everybody,  this is just spectacular", he told Sky Sports after this afternoon's win over Brighton & Hove Albion. "It was impossible to relax during the game. This is the Championship, everything is decided in the last second in this category. When you achieve something like this it feels all the sweeter after the tough moments we have been through. When I arrived here and said that the objective was to return to the Premier League, the people said I must be mad. Now, two and half years on, we're back where we belong. We knew that it would be difficult but fortunately it all turned well".