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Boro boss: We’re out to copy Clarets
NEW Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka has labelled Burnley as the blueprint for his club to follow.
The Spaniard is still getting to grips with the Championship just six weeks after succeeding Tony Mowbray at the Riverside.
But leaders Burnley have already made an impression on the former Real Madrid defender and assistant manager, with the 40-year-old commending the Clarets’ team ethic as the key to their success story in the first half of the season.
“Burnley are a good example for Middlesbrough to follow,” said Karanka.
“When I was a player, I quickly learned that you can have some very good players in your squad, but if you do not play as a team, that is not very good.
“I prefer to have a very good team rather than a collection of talented individuals, and Burnley seem to have that team relationship.
“We are building that, and we are training to build a team. I think we are getting there, but we have to win the games to prove it.”
Burnley face a Middlesbrough side who have lost only twice at home this season and have failed to score only three times in 21 Championship games, but have struggled for consistency with former boss Mowbray laying the emphasis on attack under his watch.
Much like Sean Dyche when he took charge of the Clarets part way through last season, Karanka is playing a patient game in building from the back.
And having seen the Turf Moor transformation, the Boro boss, whose Riverside record stands at played six, won two, drawn one and lost three, is confident they can reap the rewards.
“My first thought is always about my team,” he added.
“We have played against Leeds, Brighton and Derby – teams who are well up in the table – and if we can push those teams all the way, which we did, there is no reason why we cannot beat Burnley.
“I know it will be a tough game because Burnley have a very good team, and that is the most important word. They are a team.
“Sometimes, you can have a lot of good players, but it will not work if they are not a team.
“Burnley definitely play as a team and that is coming through in their results and performances.”
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