MIDDLESBROUGH’S players have responded well to new manager Aitor Karanka – but the boss doesn’t expect a sudden change in fortunes.
The Spaniard takes Boro to Leeds tomorrow (kick off 3pm) for his first game in charge and understands the importance of the game to the club’s huge travelling support.
Over a week of training – including “one or two double sessions” – has amassed since Karanka was unveiled as the club’s first ever foreign boss and he has expressed his pleasure with the players’ receptiveness to the new regime.
However he warned against expectations of an instant revolution, instead saying changes will be made gradually.
He told BBC Tees: “We have been training only 10 days and the players are training very, very good.
“We are going to build a team step by step without a lot of hurries.
“It will not be a fast, quick (change, it will be) slow.
“We go to the game (on Saturday) wanting to win but we have to have patient too, if we lose on Saturday then the next game is even more important.
“We have 10, twelve sessions and the most important things are that the players are very, very good, are concentrating and excited about the new era here.
“They are adapting very good. They are always awaiting my exercises, always excited and this is the best way because if you are coaching and you see the players looking all over the place it is not good.
“But when they are excited and everyone is ready to train it is good for me.”
Albert Adomah, the winger for whom much of the Riverside outfit’s optimism has stemmed from this season, has been the subject of discussion for Karanka.
“I hope that he (Adomah) will score more goals,” the former Real Madrid coach added.
“We have a common friend, Michael Essien, and I was asking him about Alberto and he told me that he is a very good guy.
“There are good players (in the team) and for me they are the best players because they are my players.”
Brian McDermott’s Whites are eighth in the Championship and have won four of their last six encounters.
Karanka remembers the successful Leeds days of yesteryear but still knows they are a difficult opposition to face.
“I am very happy because the game is arriving,” he went on.
“It is a good game for our supporters to go there. We train to put everything on the pitch for them.
“I know it’s not the same as when they (Leeds) were in the Champions League but I know they are a very good club too and have a lot of supporters and for us it’s going to be a difficult game.
“The message (to the fans) is that I want them to be with us every minute because the players always need their support and I think the players respond with their attitude to that.”
“Together we can get success.”