mIDDLESBROUGH fans may be basking in the glow of a considerable Capital One Cup upset at Manchester United in midweek, but the club’s head coach Aitor Karanka is keeping firmly grounded.
The Teessiders once again showed their cup pedigree, just as they had at the Etihad Stadium in producing a big FA Cup shock at Manchester City in January, to see off Manchester United 3-1 on penalties in front of 10,000 travelling fans.
The bread-and-butter of Championship business is now back on the menu with back-to-back home games against lowly Charlton Athletic and Rotherham United.
Karanka, despite his understandable pride at events on Wednesday night, insists that it will be a distant memory if they do not successfully negotiate the next two Riverside outings.
Karanka said: “A team which two years ago was two points above the relegation positions has now played a (play-off) final at Wembley and against the better teams in the Premier League face to face.
“It is something to be proud of, for all the players at the club.
“But we play on Saturday against Charlton and this is the league we have to compete in.
“After winning (at Old Trafford) and then losing against Charlton and Rotherham on Tuesday, this (win) would be nothing.”
On today’s clash, he said: “It is a dangerous game because we come from an amazing performance and an amazing game.
“We play against a team which is not in a good place in the table, but they are a good team.
“We have to play in the way we played against Manchester United.”
New signing Bruno Zuculini may make his full debut for Middlesbrough having signed a month-long loan from Manchester City.