With Championship football set to resume again this weekend, Aitor Karanka says the time away from league football has been beneficial on the training ground at Rockliffe Park.

Boro head to Championship strugglers Wigan on Saturday, but the Head Coach believes his team will be in for a difficult challenge after the Lactics appointed Malky Mackay as their new manager this week.  

"The break was good because we had more time to focus on the training ground," said Aitor. "We can rest and spend time at home so it was good because when you have a lot of games sometimes you need these breaks. 

"That was the last one now until March, so now we have to keep going in the same way.

"It's good to know we only have one game a week because we've had a lot of games in a short space of time, so now we have time to concentrate on just one game at a time. 

"We can manage the players better and we don't have any injuries to worry about because I can change the team around."

Wigan made the Play-Offs last season but have failed to live up to the same standards and currently occupy third bottom spot in the Championship.

And Aitor fully expects Malky Mackay's men to come out flying in attempt to impress the new boss at the DW.

"I think it's going to be difficult because when one team changes their manager, the players are always more motivated and want to impress the new manager," he said.

"Their crowd will be helping them too, but it's the same situation as when we played Huddersfield so we have to go into that game thinking about ourselves and that will be our concern. 

"We have to be intelligent and we have to play in the way we know how to - quick and fast when we have the ball."