sport

Karanka calls on Boro keepers

Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka has challenged each of his goalkeepers to prove they are the man to succeed Shay Given.

The 37-year-old former Republic of Ireland international will play the final game of his three-month loan spell from Aston Villa against Leeds United in Saturday's early Championship kick-off at the Riverside Stadium.

Then it will be up to loan signing Tomas Meijas Osorio, the fit-again Jason Steele, Dimi Konstantopoulos, Jayson Leutwiler and Connor Ripley to fight it out for his place.

Karanka told the Northern Echo: "I am confident that we will be okay without Shay. I have my other goalkeepers and it is up to them now.

"We have Tomas from Real Madrid and Jason, who is fit again after his injury. He needs to recover his confidence because to go three months without playing a game is difficult, especially for a goalkeeper.

"He needs to get his confidence back because goalkeeping is a special position.

"We also have Dimi, Jayson and Connor, so I am happy with the options I have.

"They know that my number one will be the goalkeeper that trains very well. The one who does the best will be the keeper that will play."