Middlesbrough boss Karanka still not fully happy

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka.
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka.

NOT that he is endeavouring to, but Aitor Karanka is doing little to dispel his perfectionist title.

Middlesbrough host Norwich City tonight (kick off 7.45pm) just two points shy of league leaders Watford, a third of the way into the season and 11 points better off than at the same juncture last year.

Things could still be better, though.

“I always think of the opposite – it’s very nice, but losing one in the last 10 means we are two points below the first position and I would like to be as high possible as that’s better for us,” the Spaniard said.

Neil Adams’ Canaries secured their first win in six games on Friday night after a barren run of form seen them slip from the summit of the Championship.

They, then, are envious of Boro’s form and Karanka is well-tuned in the threats that the now sixth-placed East Anglian outfit will offer.

He said: “They have won one in six, but they are one point below us, so we have to be careful and think about the one point below us.

“It won’t be an easy game just because they have won only once in the last six games.

“We know how difficult it is to add points in this league.

“Norwich are a very good team and they are not a typical Championship team – they are very, very strong with quality payers and they played in the Premier League last season.”

After tonight, Boro welcome high-flying Bournemouth to the Riverside on Saturday, making this week yet another important one as the Teessiders look to maintain their own momentum and stay entrenched in the promotion mix-up.

“When you are at this level you can see how important it is going to be against Norwich and then Bournemouth on Saturday,” the former Real Madrid assistant added.

“It was very, very important for our squad and our performance to arrive into these two games with a good win at Rotherham (3-0 win on Saturday).

“If we think we are playing very well, when we play Norwich and Bournemouth – two of the best teams in the league – we have to be careful.

“We have to think how difficult the first game is and then the second game.”