Middlesbrough: Ex-boss Steve McClaren praises Aitor Karanka
Middlesbrough have been reinvented by boss Aitor Karanka, according to the club's former manager Steve McClaren.
Now in charge of Boro's Championship rivals Derby County, ex-England boss McLaren ranks the Teessiders as promotion hopefuls under the Spaniard.
"He is certainly changing the face of Middlesbrough," McClaren told BBC Tees.
"He brought stability, a new way of working, a new way of thinking and I feel everybody has brought into that, which is the most important thing."
Middlesbrough moved into the third round of the League Cup with a 3-1 win over Preston North End on Tuesday and and are just one point adrift of McClaren's highly rated Rams in seventh spot in the Championship table.
|Middlesbrough's start to the 2014-15 season|
|9 Aug: Win 2-0 v Birmingham City (H) Championship|
|12 Aug: Win 3-0 v Oldham Athletic (A) League Cup|
|16 Aug: Loss 1-0 v Leeds United (A) Championship|
|19 Aug: Win 2-1 v Bolton (A) Championship|
|23 Aug: Loss 3-2 v Sheffield Wednesday (H) Championship|
|26 Aug: Win 3-1 v Preston (H) League Cup|
Karanka succeeded Tony Mowbray at Boro with the side 16th in the Championship table in November and guided them to a 12th-place finish by claiming 24 points from a possible 33 to end the season.
The 40-year-old former Real Madrid assistant boss is in his first managerial role, an echo of McClaren's status when he moved to the Riverside after leaving his role as Sir Alex Ferguson's number two at Manchester United.
Middlesbrough's summer transfer activity has seen Karanka's compatriots Tomas Meijas, Kike and Emilio Nsue move to the Riverside among a host of new arrivals.
"They are developing and making some very good signings," said McClaren, who opened a new clubhouse for Cleveland Juniors on Wednesday.
"They will be pushing definitely for a top-six place this season."