Dyche not interested in goings-on at rivals Boro

Aitor Karanka. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Aitor Karanka. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

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Clarets boss Sean Dyche is paying little attention to the goings-on at promotion rivals Middlesbrough.

Boro went into Sunday’s game at Charlton Athletic with the chance to close the gap at the top of the table to four points – but lost 2-0 at the Valley, with manager Aitor Karanka not in charge, after his training ground exit on Friday.

The Spaniard’s future at the Riverside remains in the air, after leaving a team meeting, before reportedly being turned away from their Rockcliffe Park training ground on Saturday, with his assistant Steve Agnew taking charge of Sunday’s game.

A club statement read: “Middlesbrough Football Club can confirm that Aitor Karanka did not take training on Saturday morning.

“Assistant Head Coach Steve Agnew will take charge of the team for Sunday’s fixture at Charlton Athletic.

“We appreciate supporters will want to know further details, but at this time the club cannot make any further comment and is solely focused on Sunday’s game at The Valley.’’

Boro, long-time favourites for the Championship title, have endured their worst run of the season, having taken only 12 points from their last 10 games, at a time when Burnley have won six league games on the spin, in an unbeaten run spanning 14 games, going back to Boxing Day.

Jordan Rhodes signed on transfer deadline day for Boro, but has only started five of nine games, scoring one goal, since a reported £9m switch from Blackburn Rovers, while £5m summer signing Stewart Downing had been on the bench for the two games prior to Sunday, when he was recalled to face Charlton.

But what is happening at Middlesbrough is of little consequence to Dyche, whose focus, as ever, remains in house.

After the 3-1 win at Huddersfield on Saturday, he said: “Its nothing to do with me, it’s up to them what their business is, and I’m sure they’ll take care of it whichever way they do.

“There’s nothing I can do to affect that and I’ve no wish to.

“I’m more interested in affecting what we do.”