Middlesbrough: Aitor Karanka wants repeat of last season's finish

Aitor Karanka
Karanka helped Boro to 12th in the Championship after he took over in November 2013

Manager Aitor Karanka wants Middlesbrough to follow on their end-of-season form with a strong start to the Championship campaign ahead.

Karanka led Boro to a 12th-placed finish, with six wins from eight between March and the final game against Yeovil Town.

The Teessiders begin the new season with a home fixture against Birmingham.

"I hope we start the season in the same way we finished last season," Karanka told BBC Tees.

"The aim is to work is improve the squad as much as we can because we felt last season, with a little bit more, we could have got a better position.

"It will be tough, but it would be easy to say we want to get promotion this season."

Since arriving, Karanka, a former Spain international defender who played for Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid in La Liga, has been learning about English football as much as the language.

Although he has turned to compatriots Tomas Meijas, Kike and Emilio Nsue to strengthen the squad, he is determined to avoid cliques relating to language and nationality.

"I demand for all the players to speak English. We are in England and we have to respect the country and the players," he added.

"When we are in the technical room we speak English and for the players I want the same, because when they are speaking it better, it will be easier for them."