Aitor Karanka: Middlesbrough are 'best team' in Championship

Aitor Karanka
Middlesbrough have conceded just twice in their 13 home games in the Championship this season

Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka says his side are the best team in the Championship, but urged them to continue their good run of form.

Boro beat second-placed Derby County 2-0 on Saturday to move four points clear at the top of the table.

"It's a long way to go but we have to keep going. Playing this way, it's difficult to get us," he told BBC Tees.

"The league is difficult. A month ago Hull were five points above us and now they are five below with a game more."

Karanka, whose side has the best defensive record in the league, continued: "We are the best team and we are top of the table, but it doesn't mean anything because it's January and we have another 22 games to go - but we are in good condition."

Middlesbrough's defensive record
Middlesbrough have let in just four goals in their last 12 Championship games

The Boro boss feels his side, which missed out on promotion to the Premier League following their play-off final defeat by Norwich in May, is wiser and better equipped than a year ago.

"I am always saying that we have more experience, we are more mature, we have more quality and we don't have injuries. That reflects in the table," he added.

"We have a lot of games in January and February, we have the FA Cup on Saturday so we need to think about the following game and forget about what we have done at the moment."