JACOB Butterfield is confident that Middlesbrough will only progress under Aitor Karanka.
In two months in charge on Teesside, Karanka is now seeing some positive results with the New Year’s Day 2-2 draw at Bolton making it 10 points out of 12 over the festive period.
Premier League Hull City come to the Riverside tomorrow (kick off 3pm) in the FA Cup third round and although Steve Bruce’s side may possess better quality, midfielder Butterfield does not believe Boro should be daunted.
Karanka has emerged as quite the perfectionist, highlighting mistakes to amend for whatever the result, and a win against higher opposition would be his best result to date.
Butterfield said: “The manager is frustrated because of the mistakes that have happened before we are doing again and we’ve tried to address them but we’ve let him down.
“The manager has had a positive impact.
“I think we’re going in the right direction.
“He’s made a lot of changes most games since he came in, for whatever reason, maybe he might want to look at everyone, or rotate it to keep the squad fresh.
“He has a got a lot of confidence in the players in the club and he will play players in different teams to get the right results.”
The traditional Boro new year collapse must be averted if the Teessiders are to embark on a cup run and to push themselves higher up the Championship.
And the idea of flirting with the latter rounds of the cup appeals to the former Crystal Palace man.
He went on: “It’s always great to play a Premier League team and to see how we get on with them.
“It’s a good team at home, and whoever plays will look forward to it and get a good result for us.
“To get on a good cup run would be brilliant for everyone at the club. We’ll be looking to win definitely.
“It’s a new year and hopefully we can go on a run and see where it takes us.”
Meanwhile, Hull City boss Bruce is promising to ring the changes for what will be the ninth game in 35 days for the Tigers.
Bruce, who makes no apology that his one and only priority is to ensure City remain in the Premier League, will continue his policy which has seen the Tigers chief shuffle his pack for the cup competitions.
Former Newcastle keeper Steve Harper, Liam Rosenior, Abdoulaye Faye, George Boyd, Stephen Quinn and Matty Fryatt will all be in contention to step up from their places on the bench in the 2-0 loss at Liverpool.