After last weekend's win against Oxford United, Aitor Karanka says Boro will be looking to maximise survival chances with three points at Selhurst Park on Saturday. 

But the Head Coach insists that although the next game is important, the clash with Palace will not be the defining moment of the season. 

"It's not as simple as the winner of the next game stays up, because we have another tough three months [till the end of the season]," he said.

"I can't forget how well the team is doing so far, and we need to keep going in the same way.

"It is the biggest game because it is the next game. It is against a direct opponent but we will not be taking this game as a final. 

"We can take heart from our previous games and performances. With our consistency and intensity we always have a chance."

Karanka admits that tomorrow's game will not be an easy one, especially considering how Boro fared in the last meeting between the two sides.

"The main thing is to remember the game at home. We have to learn because we lost that game," he said. 

"We know how good their forward players are, we have to be careful with them. But we have to play to try and win the game."

"They have an experienced manger, experienced and good players so maybe the reaction [from appointing Sam Allardyce] hasn't come yet but it could start on Saturday.

"They have everything to be in a higher position but now they are our opponent and we have to go there thinking that we can beat them."

Grant Leadbitter missed the previous fixture in September, and Karanka praised the midfielder following his goalscoring performance against Oxford.

"He's been a really important member of the team," Karanka said.

"Whether that's in the squad, on the bench or in the changing room, he's always important to have with the squad. 

"Every single player can play the following game and I'm really pleased with him.

Meanwhile, Karanka has a few fitness issues to check on in defensive areas.

"Antonio Barragan is out, and we are not 100% with George Friend and Calum Chambers - they have not been training with the team so we need to check," he said.

"We are working well and we have alternatives so I am calm - I don't think it will be a problem."