Opposition View: Middlesbrough

By SFC Media Sat 10 Dec Saints vs Boro

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka says his side will arrive at St Mary’s in confident mood after recent results, but is expecting a tough test.

Boro secured an important 1-0 victory over Hull City on Monday at the Riverside Stadium, with Gaston Ramirez on target.

That followed a valuable draw against Leicester City away from home, and Karanka says his players must believe in themselves.

“Southampton is a team that plays good football. We have almost exactly the same numbers in the league in terms of points,” Karanka said.

“They have a good coach, an experienced coach and good players who are more experienced than us.

“We have to go there thinking we can win the game, especially with the way we have been playing and the confidence we have at the moment.”

Saints will be looking to respond after a 1-1 draw against Hapoel Be’er Sheva saw them exit the Europa League on Thursday.

However, when asked whether it was a good time to be playing Claude Puel’s men, Karanka says they are fully focused on their own game.

He added: “I prefer to arrive to that game with our own sensations and feelings because the team is playing well and improving.

“We know we are going to play a really good team. Every single season they have improved.

“They have been playing in the Europa League this season, so it will be a difficult game but I prefer to focus on ourselves.”

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