Championship: Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka admits nerves in 1-0 win over Bolton
Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka admitted his Riverside debut almost became a nightmare in a 1-0 win over Bolton.
Last Updated: 30/11/13 6:57pm
Bolton's Jermaine Beckford missed his spot-kick, leaving Karanka to celebrate a 1-0 victory in his first home game in charge thanks to Grant Leadbitter slotting home a penalty of his own after 82 minutes.
Former Real Madrid assistant boss Karanka was cheered onto the pitch with a Basque-style mass display of red handkerchief waving.
"It was very emotional for me," he said.
"From the moment I signed the contract I had dreamed of the first home game and the greeting I got from our people made it very special.
"But it nearly turned into a nightmare when Bolton won the penalty so late on in the game.
"I feared it would be like at Leeds last week when we had worked so hard to get into a good position in the game and then conceded from a late mistake.
"But they missed and so I can go home happy and the supporters can go home happy. It was a good day.
"It was a tough game but I thought we did very well for long spells, although it is still very early days for me and for the players. We still need to improve."
Bolton boss Dougie Freedman is backing his side to bounce back after their first defeat in nine games.
"It was hard for the boys because they worked very hard in that game and in the second half especially we had a lot of possession and created some good chances.
"And defensively we were very good. We restricted them to very few chances and our keeper has barely had a save to make. It stings a bit to concede from a penalty and obviously it stings to miss one too.
"But we played well. I think we played well enough if not to win, certainly not to lose the game.
"Now it is about how the team react. It is the first defeat after a long run of good results and the spirits have been high.
"But I'm confident that they will react well. We have been in great form and I'm sure there will be a positive reaction."