AITOR Karanka says that while his Middlesbrough players are currently high in confidence, they cannot misjudge the effort it will take to beat Rotherham United tonight.
Boro host the Championship’s bottom club having won their last three games.
It’s dangerous to go to the pitch thinking it’s an easy game because we beat Manchester (United), Charlton and Wolves.
The Millers, in contrast, have won only three times all season.
A 3-0 win against Charlton on Saturday means Boro are only three points adrift of league leaders Brighton, but potentially bridging that gap against Rotherham will require the same level of performance as in recent wins.
“I hope to repeat that performance (from Saturday),” Karanka told BBC Tees.
“We have to be really careful because tonight’s game is really difficult.
“I think this game is more dangerous, (when) thinking about the past.
“In the future, we have tonight and then Saturday (away to Hull City) and then two weeks to work (during the international break).
“It’s dangerous to go to the pitch thinking it’s an easy game because we beat Manchester (United), Charlton and Wolves and because Rotherham are bottom. We can’t go thinking it’s going to be easy.
“They are going to come here and try to beat us and get some points.”
The defensive-minded approach visitors to Riverside have employed this season has frustrated Boro’s head-coach, who has repeatedly voiced his displeasure on the matter in recent weeks.
He is expecting the same again from Neil Redfearn’s team, knowing that the Boro crowd could grow restless.
“This season every game has been difficult,” he went on.
“The crowd has to understand. If they keep calm, with the confidence and quality we have in the squad, I am completely sure we will score goals.
“The teams coming to the Riverside try to waste time or to play their game. I can’t understand.”
Adam Forshaw remains sidelined with an ankle injury, while Christian Stuani (hamstring and groin tears) is also absent.