It's all systems go again for Aitor Karanka and his Boro squad as the countdown to a return to Championship action is well underway.

Fulham are the visitors to the Riverside as Boro enter the latest phase of the season, sitting in second place in the table, two points behind leaders Brighton.

Boro had won seven successive games in all competitions before tasting defeat at Reading, and Karanka says, as with the Bristol City reverse back in August, the Madejski Stadium clash re-enforced how tough a league the Championship is.

"We won seven games but if you start to think it is easy it will be difficult," said Karanka.

"After Reading we know how difficult it is and we have to take the last games as an example to keep going.

"We know and we have to be ready. We have had time to take a break, but after Monday we don't have one second to rest."

Boro's Head Coach says the second international break of the season is a far better chance to blend rest with the time on the training ground, and that there are fewer distractions at this time of year.

"We focus on the work we have to do," he said.

"August is difficult because you are playing and trying to bring some players in and send some out, and maybe some might not be thinking 100 per cent on the games because they are thinking about their future. The focus is different at that time.

"It's for that reason I am glad we are here now and we have that time to work on things."

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