Aitor Karanka won’t be celebrating too much if Middlesbrough beat Reading

The Boro manager says he is keeping his eyes on the long-terms goals of the club and refuses to replicate last season’s promotion failure.

Aitor Karanka has vowed not to get carried away with the excitement of Middlesbrough’s title push, even if his side move to the top of the Championship, reports the Daily Star.

Boro play host to Reading at the Riverside Stadium on Tuesday evening, knowing a positive result would move them two points clear at the summit.

The Teesside club currently sit second in the table, one point behind Premier League hopefuls Burnley with a game in hand. Maximum points in that additional fixture could see Karanka’s men move a step closer to their top-flight dream.

However, the ex-Real Madrid assistant has reflected on last term’s failures and is refusing to get over excited by their present promising position.

Hull City’s mixed run of form - they have won just one of their last five fixtures - has seen the competition for the two automatic promotion places reduce to a three-horse race. Boro now face competition from Burnley and Brighton for a place among England’s elite.

Ahead of their fixture with mid-table Reading, Karanka says he is focusing on the present and refusing to consider future successes.

“We were top after 40 games but ended up finishing fourth so I don’t want to think about what might happen in a month’s time,” he is quoted as saying in the Daily Star.

“Last year, we got confused because maybe we all felt it was going to be easier than it was.

“When we saw the league table and we were top, I think all of us - fans, me, the players – felt we would get automatic promotion.

“A month later we were in the play-offs and then lost the final. Now we are all more experienced and all think the same way.”

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch