Karanka Expects Tough Test Against Blackburn

READY TO GO: Aitor Karanka has prepared his squad for the hard game against Blackburn Rovers on Saturday (Photo courtesy of The Gazette)

Middlesbrough Head Coach Aitor Karanka says his squad are fresh for the upcoming game against Blackburn as he anticipates another difficult game.

Last week’s away draw at Wigan ensured that Boro are now on a run of one defeat in 13 Championship games.

They remained in third place on 32 points as their opposition are creeping behind them in a very tight top of the Championship table in sixth on 30 points.

Karanka insisted though that his players are well equipped to get a result at the Riverside.

He said: ”We are looking forward to playing on Saturday in what will be another interesting game because Blackburn are only two points below us.

“They are the kind of team that are very organised, they don’t make many mistakes and they have some dangerous forwards.

“But the players I put on the pitch for Saturday I think are the best to do the job. I do have to think about future games.

“It was good last week because we played with less intensity because we still managed to get a point and Wigan have some talented players.”

A man earning a lot of praise around Teesside is on loan forward Patrick Bamford, whose current loan deal expires in January.

Karanka insisted though the club is going to every length to ensure that Boro can keep him until the end of the season:

“From today, the decision is in my hands. But we have to speak to the people at Stamford Bridge.

“I think he is very happy here so I don’t understand why he would want to leave in January.”

Middlesbrough have no fresh injury worries for the game but they will be without Adam Clayton who is suspended after receiving his fifth yellow card at Wigan.

Jason Steele, who is on loan at Blackburn Rovers from Middlesbrough, will be ineligible to play against his parent club.

In other Boro news, 18-year-old striker Bradley Fewster has signed on loan for Preston North End until the end of the season.

The move comes after the promising youngster fell down the pecking order with the arrivals of Kike, Jelle Vossen and Patrick Bamford.

from Tside