Aitor Karanka hopes his players learn their lesson from the last Riverside outing when Middlesbrough face MK Dons tomorrow (kick-off 3pm)
The head coach was unhappy when Sky Bet Championship new boys Bristol City won 1-0 in front of a 20,000-plus Teesside crowd last month.
Boro responded with back-to-back away wins, in the Capital One Cup at League One high-fliers Burton Albion, and an impressive 3-1 league success at Sheffield Wednesday.
But Boro resume at home tomorrow with the visit of another newly-promoted side.
Karl Robinson’s Dons are just one point behind Boro and should Karanka’s side slip up tomorrow, they will slide into mid-table.
“We have to learn from the game against Bristol,” said the Spaniard. “We’ve got to be careful with this game and we have to play our best style and highest intensity. If we think it’s going to be easy we are making a big mistake.”
Karanka is looking for his team to make home a real advantage.
Boro have back to-back Riverside dates, with Brentford following on Tuesday night.
“If we are to be strong [this season] it’s important we win our home games,” said Karanka, who said training has gone well. “We are ready to go. Our players who have been on international duty are back and have trained and their attitude, once again, was amazing. Let’s see if we can go and put onto the pitch what we’ve been doing in training.”
Among those training at Rockliffe has been Uruguay winger Carlos de Pena.
The 23-year-old, signed on a three-year deal from Nacional, has impressed Karanka.
“Carlos is young, but has experience, and he is a talented player,” said the head coach.
“His English is very good and he’s settled in really well – he’s been here five days now and all of them love Carlos.”
Karanka could also include another winger, Albert Adomah, who fell out with his manager last month but is staying.