Middlesbrough kick off the new Championship season at Preston tomorrow on a real high – after boss Aitor Karanka penned a new four-year contract.
The Spaniard is determined to lead Boro to the Premier League, having missed out in last season’s play-off final.
Karanka, who joined Boro in November 2013, is relishing working with supportive chairman Steve Gibson, and he said: “The club is the best club for me. I always said I couldn’t be in a better place than I am here so it was easy for me.
“I was speaking with the chairman and it took us 30 seconds. He knows me and I know him, and I know that I am in the right place with the right people at the right moment.
“My relationship with Steve and the people at the club is more than the paper. It’s not about years or the money, it’s because we have an amazing relationship and I’m at the best club for me.
“For me, now I would like to be in the Premier League now because I’m very passionate and like to do things as soon as possible.
“I’m really pleased because the team and the club – especially the club – is improving.
“Good players want to join us so everything is good so for this reason when Steve told me about my new contract – 30 seconds later I said yes.”
Last season was Karanka’s first full season in charge. After the Wembley disappointment against Norwich, Boro have re-grouped over the summer and have signed Stewart Downing in a deal worth £5m.
Meanwhile, Boro will have Uruguayan striker Cristian Stuani in contention at Deepdale, having finally been able to confirm his £2.8m capture.