Aitor Karanka paid tribute to Huddersfield Town and insisted that the main difference between the sides was Uruguayan international Gaston Ramirez.

Middlesbrough were comfortable winners on Tuesday night after netting twice in three first half minutes - but Spaniard Karanka emphasised how Ramirez had changed the game after Town had kept the ball for the first 20 minutes.

The playmaker, who is on loan from Premier League outfit Southampton, won the penalty for the opening goal and then scored twice to fire Boro to all three points.

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Karanka declared: "I don't like to say names as always the most important thing is the team, but today it's impossible not to say anything about Gaston (Ramirez).

"He was the player who changed everything, the first 20 minutes we didn't play in the way I like as we looked like we were playing for nothing, but two moments from him changed everything.

"He was the difference between Huddersfield and us . I think it was his best performance as he scored, he worked for the team, he assisted and won the penalty.

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"Huddersfield are a team who like to play, they play good football, and the difference was Gaston.

"I think he is feeling more confident every single day, his teammates know him now much better and that's important for the team."

The Middlesbrough chief was impressed with his side once they had ridden out the first 20 minutes of Town pressure.

And although David Wagner rued the "easy" goals his team gave away, Karanka was keen to highlight his team's defensive work in preventing Town from creating many clear chances.

He added: "After (the first 25 minutes) we worked really well as a team and got another clean sheet. The main thing is we're arriving at the most important part of the season in a really good way.

"In this league, every single point is really important. Even when we're not playing well it's important that we're organised and consistent. If we keep a clean sheet, then with the quality we have up front, it will always be easier."