Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka believes Chelsea’s lack of European football this season can boost their bid to reclaim the Premier League crown.
Antonio Conte’s men travel to the sold-out Riverside Stadium on Sunday on a five-match winning streak less than two months after the Italian’s position was said to be under threat.
Karanka believes Chelsea’s emphatic 5-0 win over Everton a fortnight ago emphasised their qualities and underlined the advantage of not having also to contend with European competition in this campaign.
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka has described Jose Mourinho as “amazing,” telling The Times he learned “a lot” from him when they worked together at Real Madrid.
Karanka steered Boro back to the top flight last season, a year after they had been beaten in the Championship playoff final.
And he said that, like Mourinho, his approach is to “give everything” for his club.
“When I was at Real Madrid again as a coach with Jose, it was the same: working hard,” he said.
‘Jose told me to be honest, to tell people to their face’: Mourinho’s old No 2 Karanka opens up ahead of Boro’s Premier League return and insists he never wanted to leave the club last season
As the champagne corks popped and the ticker tape streamed into the Teesside air, the tears flowed for Aitor Karanka.
‘I would like to go to my bed and cry for 24 hours,’ the Middlesbrough manager said after watching his side secure promotion — via goal difference — in May.
Ninety-five days later, Karanka is stylishly suited up and rather more composed as he nestles down on a settee in his office.
‘I was very emotional that day,’ the former Real Madrid defender […]