Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Newcomer Karanka's Appetite Whetted by Huge Game

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Newcomer Karanka's Appetite Whetted by Huge Game

Article excerpt

Byline: Jack Pickering

HEAD coach Aitor Karanka believes today's short away trip to Leeds is the ideal fixture in which to start his spell as Middlesbrough team boss.

The former Real Madrid assistant coach, 40, takes charge of his first game at Elland Road this afternoon - 10 days after being appointed as Tony Mowbray's successor.

"I'm happy my first match is against a big club with a large support that will hopefully mean we have a lot of our fans there too," he said. "Hopefully the fans are as excited as I am. This is a new era - a fresh start."

Karanka, who spent three years as Jose Mourinho's right-hand man, took charge at the Riverside during the international break, three weeks after Mowbray departed the Teessiders' hot seat.

And his aim is to provide attractive - and winning - football for Boro's fans. "The best way of playing is when the supporters go back home having seen their team win," he said.

"I always laugh at the comment football has to be played the right way, because the right way is to win football matches. Yes, we want it to be attractive, we want it to be all the things you want it to be - but it's very rare to get everything you want.

"We've had 10 days of good training and now we can test how much the players have taken on from us. It's going to be a step-by-step, slowbuilding process because I won't change too much too fast.

"The squad have been working very hard doing some double sessions.

"I think it's been important to do that so I could get across my philosophy and methodology - they seem to be enjoying it."

" Defender Jonathan Woodgate - who has shaken off a groin problem and e've had 10 days of will face his former club this afternoon - feels the squad have taken to their new boss and his methods. good training and now we can "It's been good, I think all the lads have enjoyed it," he said. …

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