Middlesbrough will be full of confidence at home to winless Crystal Palace on Saturday but must avoid complacency, according to manager Aitor Karanka.
Boro have made an unbeaten start to life back in the Premier League, drawing with Stoke City and West Brom either side of a 2-1 victory away to local rivals Sunderland.
Palace will arrive at the Riverside Stadium with just one point to their name, earned thanks to Joe Ledley’s injury-time equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth prior to the international break.
Karanka knows the match presents a good opportunity for his team to record a first home win back in the top flight, but wants his players, who finished second in the Championship to secure automatic promotion, to retain their focus.
“When we are organised, it is difficult to score against us and beat us,” the Spaniard told a news conference.
“We have shown that we are ready for this league.
“We are playing at home where we are really good, so we have to go to the pitch confident.
“We have started really well but we can’t get carried away because we know how difficult this league is.
“Crystal Palace are experienced and have a good manager,” he added, referring to former Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew.
“But we have to focus on ourselves and play in our style.”
Boro signed former Barcelona youngster Adama Traore from relegated Aston Villa on transfer deadline day, while Arsenal’s Calum Chambers has arrived on loan to reinforce the defence.
“I prefer to arrive at my desk with this headache to choose my team,” Karanka said of his selection options.
“The attitude of the players is really good and I am really pleased.
“Adama Traore has everything. He is a young player and I hope I can bring the best out of him.
“Sometimes in the market you can find bargains. We were waiting for the right player and Calum Chambers ticks all the boxes.
“Everybody is ready to play, apart from James Husband and Grant Leadbitter,” he added, the absent pair recovering from a dislocated shoulder and inguinal hernia respectively.
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