Aitor Karanka says Middlesbrough travel to Crystal Palace looking to win

Aitor Karanka says Middlesbrough travel to Crystal Palace looking to win

Boro's head coach spoke about the fitness of his squad as well as how the team is approaching the run in to the end of the season ahead of their trip to Crystal Palace.

Dom Brown

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka insists his side travel to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace looking to win the game.

Boro have yet to pick up their first league win in 2017 and Karanka spoke to the press about his side's chances of claiming a first three points of the calendar year away at Palace this weekend.

"We don’t treat this as a final... we have more games"

Middlesbrough last claimed victory against Swansea City on December 17th, but Karanka is confident that his side can put on a good show against Palace.

"Now we are playing direct opponents and I’m confident," said the Spaniard to the media. "We’re going to try and win the game."

Despite drawing, Karanka went on to praise his side's last league display against Everton and described his team as "improving and confident."

Boro's Injury-plagued back-line

It was confirmed that Boro have three injury doubts ahead of the match with Sam Allardcye's Palace.

Antonio Barragan and George Friend have been missing from Boro's team for a while, but Karanka elaborated on their fitness along with ruling out Calum Chambers.

Karanka told the press that the club's medical staff "are not 100% with George, with Barragan, [and] with Calum."

This leaves Boro with Ben Gibson, Daniel Ayala, Bernardo Espinosa and Fabio as fit first-team defenders, with Dael Fry likely to feature on the bench when Boro travel to London.

It will be seen if these injuries will see Boro change formation, like they did against Watford last month.

Karanka staying confident in relegation battle

Middlesbrough's head coach was asked about the recent upturn in form for Swansea under Paul Clement and Hull City with Marco Silva and how he will energise his team like these new arrivals have to their respective clubs.

"My motivation is transmitting my confidence," said Karanka, who has seen rivals around him change managers four times so far this season as he looks to prevent Boro from slipping back into the second-tier.