Having played seven games in 22 days, and remaining undefeated in the Championship since the last international break, the Boro squad were afforded some time off to relax during the current break in action.
They return to action this weekend, and they face a tough tie as they travel to the South Coast to face Brighton on Saturday, and central defender Daniel Ayala has confirmed that the squad are back in training - and working on one key thing.
“That’s what we did in the last break and that seemed to work for us.”
Boro’s strong run of form saw them move into the play-off places, sitting just one point off of top spot. Whilst they worked well as a team, the quick turnaround of fixtures prevented the squad from training too in depth, and Ayala is pleased that the international break has come to allow some real squad work at the training ground.
He added: “We started well when the games came and then we went six games unbeaten.
“We have to do that again and start well at Brighton and then push on from there.
“It was a lot of games in a short time and so that doesn’t give you much time for tactical and team work.
“All you can do is try to recover between games then.
"But we have some new players who haven’t had much time working with the squad so this break gives us a good chance to do that.”
“We can’t get ahead of ourselves. We need to take each game as it comes.”
Middlesbrough have come under a lot of praise this season, with head coach Aitor Karanka believed to be one of the most promising coaches in the Football League. If he can continue to lead Boro up the table, there is no doubt that he will be in the Premier League in the future - whether with Boro, or without.