Competed against every team
Many may have expected Boro struggle after a seven-season absence from the top-flight, however though they find themselves in 16th they have performed well in the majority of their 20 games.
They have put in good performances in the 2-1 defeat to Manchester United and goalless draw with Leicester City. Karanka stressed that it is a good position to be in, but will face a tough test on Sunday against Carlos Carvalhal's side.
"We are in a really good position," Karank told Gazettelive.co.uk. "If somebody had offered this position at the start of the season, everyone would have accepted that."
"The main thing for me is the performances," he stated. "Except Liverpool and Tottenham, we have competed against every team."
"I don’t have a lot of players to rotate," the Spaniards admitted. "We will play the best XI because I know how important the competition is and we want to do well."
"They have players to play really well away and at home," Karanka added. "They caused us problems last year and they will this year as well."
Gives us something different
The clash at the Riverside Stadium could see the introduction of the Teesside club's newest asset, having completed the £6 million signing of Rudy Gestede from Aston Villa.
The 28-year-old managed five goals in the Premier League last season before Villa's relegation, and Karanka stated that the Benin international offers him new and different tactical options.
"He is a really good players for us," he said. "He gives us something different and gives us something we don’t have at the minute."
"I’m really pleased," Karanka stressed. "Because we have got a good player and good person."
When asked if he will start on Sunday, the coach admitted: "I don’t know. I need to think. I don’t think he’ll start from beginning."
Middlesbrough will take on Sheffield Wednesday in the third round of the FA Cup at the Riverside Stadium on Sunday, January 8 with kick-off at 3pm GMT.