Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boro Eager to Delay the Celebrations for Burnley

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Boro Eager to Delay the Celebrations for Burnley

Article excerpt

Byline: James Hunter Sports Writer

MIDDLESBROUGH are aiming to spoil Burnley's promotion party this afternoon as the Teessiders look to continue their recent impressive form.

Burnley will clinch automatic promotion to the Premier League if they beat Boro at Turf Moor, and third-placed Derby fail to beat Huddersfield Town.

But Aitor Karanka's in-form side can delay the celebrations in Lancashire if they earn a share of the spoils against a team that the Spaniard rates as the best in the Championship.

Boro beat Burnley at the Riverside on Boxing Day, and if they can complete a league double against Sean Dyche's men they will extend their winning run to four games - their best sequence of the season.

Karanka said: "It's great for us to be playing against a team who can be promoted this weekend but we're not going there to celebrate their promotion, we're going there to win the game.

"Every team can learn from Burnley. The coach has made a very good team and the best thing for a coach is that the people can see the coach's work on the pitch.

"I don't want to say Burnley don't have good players, because they do, but I think they are the best in the league as a team."

Boro may go into the weekend in 13th place, but they have caused upsets against some of the top sides this season - winning against playoff contenders Derby and Reading, and taking points off Wigan home and away.

"We want to win the game because we beat them [Burnley] here, we beat Derby and we've beaten a lot of teams at the top of the table," said Karanka. "We had an accident against QPR [losing 3-1 at home three weeks ago] but I'm very happy with my team and we go there knowing we're capable of winning the game.

"The game on Boxing Day was one of the best performances since I came here. The most important thing is the team has improved since that day and the important thing is to be better every day than the day before. …

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