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Premier League Boro must pick up where they left off - Karanka

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka saw reasons for optimism following his side's second-half display against Tottenham.

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Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka called for his players to replicate their performance in the second half of a 2-1 defeat to Tottenham as they aim to end a three-game Premier League losing streak at West Ham on Saturday.

Karanka's side were 2-0 down at half-time against Spurs last weekend following Son Heung-min's first-half brace, but Ben Gibson pulled one back as Boro put on a much-improved display after the break.

Boro are without a win in their last five games in all competitions and they face a West Ham side who have lost their last four Premier League matches.

"The starting point this week has to be the second half against Tottenham," said Karanka.

"West Ham are not in their best moment but they are a good team. Our biggest mistake would be to think it is an easy game.

"The players need to know that we can compete, but we must compete from the first minute."

Middlesbrough's only Premier League win of the season so far game came at Sunderland in August, but Karanka restated his belief in his side, who have scored in all of their last three games despite taking no points from them.

"We need to improve our performances," he said. "Every single game is important for us. We are learning but we have to learn quickly.

"We have another good opportunity and another good challenge this week against West Ham.

"When we play in our intensity and our style, and with the right attitude, we will win games."

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