By Ben Hardy
AITOR KARANKA has urged his Middlesbrough players to ruin Burnley's promotion party on Saturday, and not "celebrate" the Lancashire club's impending return to the top-flight.
Burnley can secure promotion to the Premier League with a win over Middlesbrough and Karanka expects it to be a tough game as Boro attempt to spoil the Clarets' big day.
Loading article content
Karanka said: “It’s a great game for us against Burnley who can be promoted this weekend 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. Burnley will want to win the game and get promoted as soon as possible and because of this I think it will be a tough game.
“They will be calm as they still have games at home and have more chances to get promotion.”
The Spaniard spoke of his admiration of Burnley and their manager and still considers Boro’s 1-0 win over Burnley on Boxing Day as one of his best since he took over at the Riverside.
Despite Boro’s fading play-off chances, Karanka still believes it is vital to keep winning as he sets his sights on next season.
He added: “The best way to prepare for next season is to finish this season by winning games because you feel more comfortable and happier."
Karanka remains confident that Boro can overcome their defensive crisis and take the three points at Turf Moor.
Both Kenneth Omeruo and Ben Gibson are suspended, while left back George Friend has a groin problem and joins Rhys Williams and Seb Hines on the injury list.