Aitor Karanka is calling on Teesside to unite as Boro look to re-ignite the push for automatic promotion by entertaining close rivals Hull City this week.

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Steve Bruce's side will travel to Teesside on Friday (7.45pm) for what is a crucial game at the top of the Championship and the Boro Head Coach is calling for togetherness among the club and fans.

"I think moving on is the key," said Karanka.

" I've had a meeting with the players, the medical staff, kit room staff and everybody who is involved with the first team squad because we have one month-and-a-half in front of us and we have to be together.

"It's the only way that we can achieve our aim at the end of the season and I couldn't put the crowd in that room because it was small - I would've needed an amazing space to put us all together.

"Now I want to ask the fans for support for the players. If I make mistakes with shapes or substitutions you can tell me after the games.

"But when the players are on the pitch they need all of the support because they are the ones are who are going to get promotion.

"For that reason I have to ask the fans to support the players as they have been until this moment."

Almost 24,000 tickets have been sold for Friday's game so far and Karanka believes that a packed-out Riverside would prove to those watching on how strong of a relationship the club has with its supporters.

"It would be a good way of showing everybody how strong of a group we are," said Karanka. "How much of a strong club we are and how together we are.

"That's the truth and the only way to show the truth to everyone is the game on Friday.

"I'm really looking forward to it because I think we're going to show everyone how big this club is and when I say this club I mean these fans and these players."

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WATCH: Aitor Karanka's message to the Boro fans.