Boro chief Karanka is determined to keep Clarets waiting for promotion

Aitor Karanka.

Aitor Karanka.

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MIDDLESBROUGH head coach Aitor Karanka has challenged his improving side to be party-poopers at Turf Moor today.

The Clarets can crown an outstanding campaign with promotion if they beat the Teessiders and Derby County slip up against Huddersfield Town.

Boro head into the game on the back of successive wins against Brighton, Derby and Birmingham, but their odds of becoming the first side to triumph in the league in East Lancashire in 13 months have lengthened with Karanka facing a defensive crisis.

Kenneth Omeruo and Ben Gibson are both suspended following their midweek dismissals against the Blues; George Friend, Seb Hines, Danny Ayala and Rhys Williams are also sidelined.

Nathaniel Chalobah could switch to defence and partner Jonathan Woodgate.

But the Boro coach insisted: “It’s a great game for us against Burnley, who can be promoted, but we will go there to win the game and not to celebrate their promotion.

“We are there to play; we don’t go to celebrate anything.”

His Clarets side may have one foot in the top flight, but Sean Dyche’s focus is only on today.

He said: “The players have done very well so far, but there’s still a long way to go. We’ve got another big game coming up and that’s what our focus is.”

Last six games: Burnley WWWLDW, Middlesbrough DLDWWW.

Last time: Burnley 0 Middlesbrough 0; February 19, 2013; Championship.

Referee: D Whitestone (Northants).

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