Karanka urges Middlesbrough improvement after Arsenal draw
Aitor Karanka issues instructions to his captain George Friend | Photo: Lindsey Parnaby

Karanka urges Middlesbrough improvement after Arsenal draw

The Boro boss is keen for his side to register their first home win of the season against Bournemouth this weekend

Sam France

Aitor Karanka is hoping to see further improvements from his Middlesbrough side after they arrested their poor form with a draw away to Arsenal last weekend.

Boro play host to Bournemouth this Saturday afternoon in what will be Karanka's 150th game in charge at the club, with his side still yet to register a home win this season.

Karanka and his opposite number Eddie Howe are the two youngest managers currently plying their trade in the Premier League, and the Spaniard was keen to praise the Cherries' boss in his pre-match press conference.

Praise for Eddie Howe and Bournemouth

"It's not a surprise to see them doing well," he told The Gazette"I really like Eddie Howe. The job he is doing there is amazing.

"Last season they did really well, it's going to be a tough game."

Eddie Howe applauds Bournemouth's performance against Tottenham | Photo: Catherine Ivill
Eddie Howe applauds Bournemouth's performance against Tottenham | Photo: Catherine Ivill

When asked if there was an added significance to the game this weekend with his side just a place above the relegation zone, Karanka admitted that pressure could come from being winless at home.

However he was keen to stress that his side cannot obsess about 'must-win' games, and praised their improvements in recent games against Tottenham Hotspur and the Gunners.

Despite this, Karanka said that Boro must continue to improve on their recent performances and cannot afford to rest on their laurels ahead of an important game.

Karanka calls for Traore patience

One particular positive from the Arsenal game was the performance of Adama Traore in his first start for the club, but Karanka is not putting too much pressure on his young shoulders just yet.

He agreed that fans' excitement around Traore was understandable, but said that "he is only 20 years old" and still "needs to learn a lot".

Yet, Karanka went on to predict that once Traore learns more about his tactical role in the team, "he will be an amazing player".

The Spaniard agreed that Traore has the raw pace to change games on his own, but that he need to understand "he's come into a really organised team".