I can see why they park the bus here.
Byline: Philip Tallentire Boro Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
AITOR Karanka blames the preseason hype surrounding his summer signings as a major reason why clubs are parking the bus at the Riverside.
He also believes Boro's status as bookies' favourites for promotion was misguided.
Fulham, who earned a 0-0 draw at the weekend weren't the first, and won't be the last club to set their stall out to take a point against Karanka's promotion-chasers.
The Boro boss, who made it clear he doesn't blame his opposite number from Craven Cottage Kit Symons for using such tactics, said: "The problem started in pre-season when everybody said Middlesbrough spent a lot of money signing players.
"And it wasn't true. In this league there are a lot of teams who have spent a lot of money this summer, and I think it was the first mistake when everybody said that Middlesbrough had spent a lot of money. "Middlesbrough had spent a lot of money in the same way a lot of teams had spent a lot of money so this is the first mistake and for this reason everybody wants to beat us because in Spain we say everybody wants to beat the richest team or everybody wants to beat Barcelona and Real Madrid.
"The only thing that Middlesbrough Football Club is doing is doing our job, and we're doing it well, really well," added Karanka, speaking before tonight's clash with Cardiff.
"Two years ago we were two points away from the relegation positions and now we are fighting with the best teams in the division.
"Middlesbrough are in third position, a fortnight ago we were second, not because we have spent money - a lot of teams have spent money. At the beginning of the season when people said Middlesbrough had spent a lot of money, you look like you are arrogant, and we are not arrogant. We are workers. It is taking a lot for us to get into that position so again we have to think about ourself, about how good we are when we play in our style and keep winning because I have an amazing squad of players and it I trust them 150%."
Fulham defend in numbers against Boro at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday and make it difficult for striker Kike DOUG MOODY