Stewart Downing expects a different kind of challenge as Boro head into the second of three successive home games against Derby County on Saturday (12.30pm).
The winger admitted his frustrations after Tuesday's stalemate with Rotherham United at the Riverside.
The 34-year-old expects a much more open encounter when former England teammate Frank Lampard brings his Derby side north - fresh from an impressive 4-1 win at West Brom - for the Championship's lunchtime kick-off.
"I think knowing Frank as I do, they'll come and have a go," Downing said.
"They'll play football, and - not in an arrogant way - they'll want to be better than us, and they'll come to win.
"It'll be a another difficult game because they've got some good players, and if it's the Frank Lampard I knew as a player, they will look to be adventurous with the ball.
"But maybe there will be a few more spaces for us to open them up than there were against Rotherham."
With only two points separating Boro and Derby among a throng of teams at the top of the table, Downing says results can't be taken in isolation.
"There's not many points in it," he said.
"It would have been good to get a win going into Saturday and we have to put that right.
"The good thing is, in this division you're playing every three days and you don't have time to dwell on it.
"Our manager's not that type anyway, we'll put it to bed and move on to what will be another tough, tough game."