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Boro v Spurs - opposing manager's view

23 September 2016|Tottenham Hotspur

Aitor Karanka believes his Middlesbrough side will enjoy the challenge of trying to upset the odds against us at the Riverside on Saturday.

Boro have lost their last two Premier League games to Crystal Palace and Everton while we’ve beaten both Stoke City and Sunderland on the domestic stage this month, without conceding a goal.

Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Karanka said his players will be determined to rip up the form book and return to winning ways at our expense this weekend.

“Tottenham have a clear plan,” he explained. “They're a really, really organised team, they put pressure on as a team, they are really organised when they don’t have the ball and they are really good when they have it so it’s going to be a difficult game, but it's nice to prepare for these games because we can do something to try to surprise them.”

Karanka and Mauricio Pochettino go way back. They did their coaching badges together and have remained friends since. So how does Karanka feel about coming up against Mauricio this weekend?

“He’s done a really good job,” the former Real Madrid assistant manager said. “He came from Spain where he had coached Espanyol in the first division. It was different to me because I was an assistant, then I came here (to England) to the Championship whereas he came to a club like Southampton.

“But it’s true, he’s done an amazing job. Last season (Spurs) were close (to winning the league), this year they have improved their squad and they have one more year’s experience.”

Finally, what is Karanka’s take on the absence of Harry Kane through injury?

“They have other players to play, they have an amazing squad,” he said. “The player who plays (instead of Harry) will be really motivated because he has his chance.”