Aitor Karanka has warned his Middlesbrough players to avoid complacency when they face injury-ravaged Hull City at the Riverside Stadium on Monday.
After making a poor start to the campaign Boro have improved of late, beating Bournemouth and losing narrowly to leaders Chelsea, as well as securing impressive draws at Arsenal, Manchester City and Leicester City.
In contrast the Tigers have plunged down the table after making a good start to the season and Mike Phelan is having to contend with several long-term injuries to key players – including Will Keane, Alex Bruce and Moses Odubajo.
In addition, Sam Clucas is suspended for the trip to Teesside, but Karanka thinks Hull could be on a high after knocking Newcastle United out of the EFL Cup last week.
The Boro boss is taking nothing for granted, saying: "They have had injuries but they are in a good moment having reached the semi-final and they are only one point below us.
"We know them from last season but it is going to be a completely different game. We have to avoid complacency thinking we are playing really well or we are playing at home against Hull who have a lot of injuries.
"We have to forget everything and only think that we have a tough game and an important game, and just focus on us."
George Friend remains sidelined for Boro with a knee injury so former Manchester United star Fabio is expected to continue at full-back.
Middlesbrough, 1/2000 to be relegated this season, can be backed at 5/1 to beat Hull 1-0 on Monday with Alvaro Negredo 6/5 to score at any time in the match.