Aitor Karanka has challenged his Middlesbrough team to take maximum points from their next two games ahead of a frantic run of games in December.
Boro host QPR tonight in the Championship, before a trip to Huddersfield Town next weekend.
They then have six league games in December, plus a Capital One Cup quarter-final with Everton.
It’s a frenzied schedule, and Karanka is eager to cut the four-point gap on leaders Hull City, following their 3-0 loss to the Tigers last time out.
“I can’t think about December because I have to think about the game against QPR,” said Karanka.
“We have 30 points but we have to make it 33 then 36 as soon as possible and that’s the main thing. Because if we go into December in a good position we’re going to be in a better way, but if we go into December not in a good run then we’re going to have problems.”
First up is a Rangers side tonight under Neil Warnock, the former Sheffield United and Leeds United manager who has taken temporary charge following Chris Ramsey’s exit.
“It’s another good test, especially because they were in the Premier League last season and I’m sure that they’re better than how they are playing at the moment,” said Karanka.
Last six: Middlesbrough LWDWWL QPR LDWLLD.
Referee: C Kavanagh (Lancs).
Last time: Middlesbrough 1 QPR 3, March 22 2014, Championship.