Nottingham Forest v Middlesbrough: Boro are aiming to end City Ground jinx

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka
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AFTER ending their Hillsborough hoodoo in their last Championship away game at Sheffield Wednesday, Middlesbrough are eyeing lightning striking twice at another largely luckless venue.

Alongside Hillsborough and Portman Road, Nottingham Forest’s City Ground is one that is usually unkind to the Teessiders, with Boro’s last win by the Trent coming in 1999 in a 2-1 victory, thanks to goals from Hamilton Ricard and Brian Deane.

All told, Boro have won just once at the City Ground in their last 21 visits, but at least head to Nottingham in good heart after back-to-back home wins against MK Dons and Brentford, with Aitor Karanka’s side chasing a fifth successive win in all competitions this lunchtime.

That said, successive away victories at QPR and Birmingham City have lifted Forest and while they are having to make do without their main leading light from last season in Michail Antonio, Karanka beleives that they are a more rounded team this season.

On Forest, whose assistant-manager is former Boro manager Lennie Lawrence, Karanka said: “Once again it is going to be very difficult. Forest are a very good team.

“They lost Antonio this season, but they are more organised, they are more compact and they are still a good team.

“They have won their last few games and once again in this league, it is going to be very difficult. But we are in a good way.

“We can still improve. The team is improving every day. It could have been easier to win the last two games, especially at home, but both were difficult.

“Against MK Dons, they were defending really well and we had to be really patient to score the first goal.

“Against Brentford, I said after the game that they were a very good side and it was very difficult to beat them.”