Apr 8, 2014 at 7.45pm UK at ​Riverside Stadium
Middlesbrough
3-1
BirminghamBirmingham City
Graham (29'), Butterfield (31'), Tomlin (89')
Omeruo (45'), Gibson (81'), Tomlin (90')
Omeruo (82'), Gibson (87')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Huws (37')
Reilly (56'), Robinson (64')

Aitor Karanka wary not to jinx Middlesbrough's playoff hopes

Real Madrid's assistant coach Aitor Karanka attends a press conference after a training session at Real Madrid sport city on December 9, 2011
© Getty Images
Aitor Karanka is refusing to tempt fate by speaking about Middlesbrough's playoff push after a 3-1 win over Birmingham City takes them to within eight points of sixth.

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka has refused to tempt fate after victory over Birmingham City kept their slim Championship playoff hopes alive.

Nine-man Boro won 3-1 at the Riverside Stadium on Tuesday to move to within eight points of sixth-placed Reading, with five games of the season remaining.

Although that is a large deficit to make up at this stage of the campaign, the in-form Teesiders have momentum on their side having won their last three matches, but Karanka has banned playoff talk in case it comes back to bite them.

"I don't want to speak about the playoffs because the moment we speak about the play-offs we will lose our next game," the Spaniard told reporters.

"I prefer to think about the next game at Burnley as being one against a team near the top of the table and we have to go there to win the game. We have won the last three games and for this I am very happy."

Middlesbrough visit second-placed Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday in their next Championship outing.

Manager of Middlesbrough Aitor Karanka looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Middlesbrough at St Andrews Stadium on December 7, 2013
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