Aitor Karanka is expecting his side to face another tough screen test on Friday when Queens Park Rangers arrive at the Riverside (7.45pm).
The Londoners, relegated from the Premier League last season, are currently 13th in the Sky Bet Championship and have won just two of their last 11 games.
Their indifferent start to the campaign, despite being among the pre-season favourites to book a top-flight, has led to the experienced Neil Warnock taking temporary charge of the side after Chris Ramsey was relieved of his duties a week ago.
"It's another good test, especially because they were in the Premier League last season and I'm sure than they're better than how they're playing at the moment," said Karanka.
"They have good players and right now they have an experienced manager. They will have had two weeks to work on the pitch and I'm sure it's going to be really difficult.
"But we have also had two weeks to work here with the players so I hope we have a good reaction after our defeat at Hull."
Karanka's side, four point behind leaders Hull, have Friday's televised showdown with QPR and a trip to Huddersfield before the start of a busy December that will see six league games and a Capital One Cup quarter-final meeting with Everton.
"I can't think about December because I have to think about the game against QPR," said Karanka.
"We have 30 points but we have to make it 33 then 36 as soon as possible and that's the main thing.
"Because if we go into December in a good position we're going to be in a better way, but if we go into December not in a good run then we're going to have problems."