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Karanka: Boro 'can compete' in top flight

Aitor Karanka says Middlesbrough FC "can compete" despite losing their last 3 successive games.

Boro have gained five points out of a possible 18 and are currently teetering above the relegation zone in 16th place. Their manager says their performance against Tottenham proves they can keep up with Champions League pedigree teams.

The starting point this week has to be the second half against Tottenham (Hotspur) because once against we showed everybody that we can compete against a team that has played in the Champions League, is unbeaten in the Premier League and a team who was fighting for the title last season."

– Aitor Karanka

Middlesbrough travel to West Ham on Saturday and who are also hoping for a change of form having only picked up three points since moving to the London Stadium this season.

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Friends become enemies at the Riverside

Middlesbrough Boss Aitor Karanka admits his close relationship with Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino will be put to one side as both clubs face each other in the premier league this weekend.

The pair struck up a tight bond while completing their coaching badges.

Tottenham go into the game unbeaten in the league this season. Boro hope to bounce back from last weekend's chasening defeat at Everton and the Head Coach says friendship doesn't matter once the whistle blows.

We did the license course together and we have a really good relationship. We have had a few players from Tottenham a two years ago so i'm looking forward to the start of the game

But after the referee blows his whistle we won't be friends for 90 minutes.

Tottenham have a clear plan. It's an organised team.

They put pressure on really well and as a team. They are really organised when they don't have the ball and when they do have the ball. It's gonna be a difficult game but it's nice to prepare for that type of game because you can do something to try and surprise them"

– Aitor Karanka

No Kane certainly doesn't equal no problem for Boro

Aitor Karanka insists that a Harry Kane-less Spurs will still be a handful for Middlesbrough at the Riverside on Saturday.

Mauricio Pochettino's side head north with an unbeaten league record, but without Kane. The England Centre Forward is out with an ankle injury.

During this week's pre-match press conference this week, a hypothetical question was put to the Boro boss: whether losing Alvaro Negredo would be as big a loss for Middlesbrough than the absence of Kane is to Spurs?

Here is the Spaniard's answer.

We will miss Alvaro more than they will miss Harry Kane because they have really good players and they have much more players to play.

They have an amazing squad and for sure Mauricio will put another player, maybe not as good as Harry Kane but the player who plays will be really really motivated because he has his chance"

– Aitor Karanka

Summer signing Vincent Janssen looks set to replace Kane for Tottenham, while Cristian Stuani and Jordan Rhodes are back in contention for Boro.

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Boro transfer update - Reach to move to Sheffield Wednesday

Boro's Albert Adomah joins Aston Villa for undisclosed fee

Middlesbrough's Albert Adomah has joined Aston Villa for an undisclosed fee.

The 28-year-old Ghanaian international leaves Teesside after three years at Boro and 143 appearances for the club.

Credit: PA

Adomah made 43 appearances during Boro’s promotion winning season and has featured twice this term, his final appearance coming as a second half substitute during the 2-1 win at Sunderland 10 days ago.

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