Stewart Downing has struggled to hold a shirt under manager Aitor Karanka.

The manager revealed that when the player knocked on his door regarding his lack of action, he made the player sit and watch replays of his errors that caused the team.

Middlesbrough seem to have slightly improved after switching to the 4-3-3 formation without Downing. Downing has been ignored in the last four games after his ten starts in 11 games this term. The player has been on the bench in recent matches, including the 1-0 loss to Southampton over the weekend.

Karanka said he had to explain to the player, showing him a detailed video analysis of his game and why he would remain sidelined in the new formation that seems to be better then the former.

“I’ve had a good chat with my assistant and Stewart Downing because obviously he was not playing ad he wanted to know why he wasn’t playing. I like that as I don’t like players who are not playing and are getting complacent sitting on the bench.
“I showed him matches and analysis why he wasn’t playing, because he tactically he has missed something,” Karanka said.

Both the player and manager have had a strained relationship particularly after their training ground bust-up in March. The Spaniard walked out on Friday and missed their game against Charlton Athletic on that Sunday. Eventually, he returned to side and helped them win Premier League status.

Karanka added that he has had discussions with Fabio Pereira da Silva and Viktor Fischer as they seek reasons why are being left out off the squad. The coach maintains that he is happy to explain his decisions to any player that asks.