Middlesbrough v Brentford: Bees still dangerous opposition – Karanka

Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka (Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire).
Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka (Picture: Martin Rickett/PA Wire).
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RECENT history leans heavily in Middlesbrough’s favour ahead of tonight’s game with Brentford, but head coach Aitor Karanka is reading little into this.

Boro face a Bees side that they beat four times last term – including in both Championship play-off matches – putting seven goals without reply past the visitors in two one-sided matches at the Riverside Stadium.

But Karanka believes last season’s results count for nothing, with tonight’s visitors much-changed from last season and now under the command of Dutchman Marinus Dijkhuisen.

Karanka said: “Every single game is different,

“They have changed the manager and lost important players, but they are a good team.

“If we go thinking they are a bottom team, it will be a mistake.

“It is true they have lost important players, but they have a lot of good players and they are really organised and a dangerous team.”

“We have to prepare the same way we prepared for MK Dons or for any game.”

Meanwhile, Karanka will not take any risks with Ben Gibson’s long-term fitness.

The defender suffered a hamstring strain in Saturday’s 2-0 victory over MK Dons, with Fernando Amorebieta coming on to replace him.

Karanka added: “If he (Gibson) can play, that is fine. But if he can’t, I don’t want to take any risks, especially in September with a lot of games to play.”

Last six games: Middlesbrough WDLWWW, Brentford DLWLLD.

Referee: G Salisbury (Lancs).

Last time: Middlesbrough 3 Brentford 0; May 15, 2015; Championship play-offs.