Having fallen to a 2-0 defeat at Wolves on Tuesday evening, Boro lost their chance to move to the top of the table, instead allowing Wolves to move equal on points with them and further congest the Championship table. Despite their high placing, Aitor Karanka’s men have lost four of 13 games, and they have struggled against strong opposition - such as the team they face this weekend.
The tie at home to Watford offers Boro the perfect chance to snatch a result off their promotion rivals, whilst also confirming themselves as real contenders for the title, and Karanka confirmed to Gazette Live that the game is about more than the three points on offer.
The former Real Madrid man said: “It's important because I hope to be in the highest position at the end of the season.
“So if you play a team in a similar position to you, you have to try to beat them because it is more than three points.
“If you win it's more than three points to you have and it's three points that you don't have.”
However, the game promises to be a tough test for Karanka, with the Hornets one of two sides to have picked up more points than Boro this campaign, and the coach is aware that the ‘very good players’ of Watford will increase the challenge they have to face.
He added: “It’s a good game to forget our last performance and it's a good test for us because Watford are a team that are above us and they are a very good team.
“I think it will be a very tough game because they have a very good squad, they have built a very good team.
“They are a consistent team with very good players and that adds up to a very difficult game for us.”