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Karanka coy on 'McCormack bid' reports

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka has refused to comment on speculation that the club have tabled a bid for Fulham striker Ross McCormack.

The 29-year-old has been in fine form this season, scoring 15 goals in the Championship. But the Scot has repeatedly been linked with a move away from Craven Cottage.

Boro were reportedly keen on signing McCormack last summer and it's understood the Championship leaders have revived their interest in the player.

But Karanka refused to talk about McCormack when asked if the club had made an offer to Fulham.

Watch the full conference:

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Middlesbrough beat Derby to stretch Championship lead

Albert Adomah celebrates after scoring his side's first goal. Credit: PA

Middlesbrough have stretched their lead at the top of the Championship, after beating top-of-the-table rivals Derby County.

Boro dominated for much of the game, and Derby goalkeeper Lee Grant was forced to make a number of good saves.

It took them 82 minutes to finally open the scoring though, Albert Adomah racing clear to lob the goalkeeper.

Just two minutes later George Friend doubled the lead, ensuring Middlesbrough remain top of the table, on 52 points - ahead of Derby County on 48 points.

Middlesbrough FC warehouse break-in

Police are appealing for information after a warehouse owned by Middlesbrough Football Club was broken into on Christmas Eve.

A large quantity of retro Middlesbrough Football shirts in red and blue with the ‘Datsun’ motif on the front have been taken.

It is possible that some of these shirts have already been sold and police are appealing for anyone who has information to contact them on 101.

Karanka hoping Middlesbrough stay top indefinitely

Aitor Karanka says he wants his Middlesbrough side to be a top-of-the-table club at the end of the season - and not just for Christmas.

The Teessiders leapfrogged Brighton at the Sky Bet Championship summit on goal difference after a 1-0 win at home to Burnley on Tuesday.

"It's nice to look at the table and see us at the top," admitted the Boro boss.

"It means we're doing a good job. But we need to be there at the end of the season and we have to look at the next game.

Watch his full press conference:

A win at unbeaten Brighton this weekend will see Aitor Karanka's men spending Christmas as the leaders of the Championship.

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Boro top Championship table with win against Burnley

Emilio Nsue celebrates scoring the only goal of the game Credit: Richard Sellers/PA Wire

Middlesbrough moved top of the Sky Bet Championship following a scrappy 1-0 victory over Burnley at the Riverside.

Emilio Nsue's second-half strike was enough for Aitor Karanka's side to bag a crucial three points against the play-off chasing Clarets.

Nsue tapped home his second goal of the season - his first at the Riverside - with one of the few chances Boro managed to get on target all night.

But it was enough for the Teessiders to claim their eighth home win of the season and top the league following Brighton's slip-up at QPR.

Boro started the game brightly and Diego Fabbrini won a foul in a good position on the left side of the box within nine minutes. But Burnley cleared the danger and Adam Clayton's follow-up effort was well wide.

Burnley pushed for a quick leveller and might have found it when Marney played in Scott Arfield but his shot was saved by Konstantopoulos.

Boro then surged forward in the 62nd minute as the game started to open up and Downing hit a powerful shot which Heaton tipped over the bar.

The home side continued to look for a second and in the 68th minute they went close again when George Friend received a return ball from Forshaw but his first-time volley was easy for Heaton.

Substitute Christian Stuani almost made it two for Boro with three minutes to go when the Uruguayan forward rounded Heaton, but he could not get his angled shot on target.

And Albert Adomah should have wrapped it up in the dying seconds of injury-time but Heaton did well to block his effort.

Boro are now ahead of Brighton on goal difference - and that's who they play next weekend.

'Door open' for Patrick Bamford says Karanka

Aitor Karanka responded to speculation that he is looking to sign Chelsea striker Patrick Bamford in January by saying that the 'door is open' for the player. Bamford is currently on loan from Chelsea to Crystal Palace.

However Karanka said in a press conference today that with two games in the next few days, against 'organised' Birmingham on Saturday and Burnley on Tuesday, he wouldn't be giving much thought to potential transfers. He added that the was expecting a 'really really difficult' game against Gary Rowett's side at the weekend.

You can watch the whole of today's press conference here:

PICTURES: Middlesbrough players make festive visit to children in hospital

Players from Middlesbrough Football Club spread a little festive cheer today as they visited patients on the children's ward at the James Cook University Hospital.

Manager Aitor Karanka and members of the squad came bearing gifts for sick children who may have to spend Christmas on the ward.

Aitor Karanka brought came with some of his squad to the James Cook Hospital Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees News
Daniel Alaya (left) and Abella Damia (right) hand Christmas gifts to a sick baby Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees News
Abella Damia (left) was there to support children of all ages Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees News
Squad members pose for a photo with an excited mother and child Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees News
A young Boro fan is delighted with his early Christmas present Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees News
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