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Karanka says survival is Middlesbrough’s main goal

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka says that staving off relegation is the main goal for the team this season despite some big-name signings.

Middlesbrough has been the most aggressive club in the transfer market among the three newcomers, bringing in names like Victor Valdes and Alvaro Negredo, but Aranka stresses that survival is the main goal for the season.

“The main aim for us is to stay in the Premier League, and to build the foundations to be here for a long time,” Karanka told Sky Sports.

“Everybody now is really excited, not just those working at the club but all the fans. Everyone is thinking about Saturday’s game.

“We have to know that now we are in the Premier League we have to play at 150 per cent. You cannot make mistakes.

“We have an important game on Saturday, and if we win it can be a good message, especially playing at home in front of our crowd.”

Karanka also said that it doesn’t come down to the names of the players brought in, but the attitude of the new signings. In addition to Valdes and Negredo, the club has added players like Danish winger Viktor Fischer and Dutch defensive midfielder Marten de Roon.

“I’m really pleased with the work that the club has done and now it is just one or two players but it has been really good because we’ve brought a few players,” Karanka said. “We need to work with them but we have had the time to work.

“It is not about the names, it is about the performances, the attitude. For me the main thing is those names are here because they wanted to come here.

“For sure they had other offers, better in terms of money, but they wanted to come here, join this club, to play in the Premier League with us and for this reason it is a good headache for me every week.

“The squad is much stronger but we have to be careful because not many of them have Premier League experience. We have names but football is about a team.”

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