Championship: Aitor Karanka insists that his main focus is to get Middlesbrough promoted
New Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka has told Sky Sports that he is fully focused on promotion to the Premier League.
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @graemebailey
Last Updated: 13/11/13 6:51pm
Karanka was confirmed as Tony Mowbray's replacement on Wednesday by chairman Steve Gibson and chief executive Neil Bausor.
Karanka, fluent in English, admitted that his main aim is to get promotion for Boro, who dropped out of the Premier League four years ago.
"Getting back to the Premier League, that is the most important thing, that is why I came here, but I know it is difficult," he exclusively told Sky Sports.
"The chairman has said how difficult the Championship is, but we are going to work hard to get this club into that position."
The former Spanish international is taking on his first managerial role after serving as assistant to Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid, and he is delighted to be making the step up.
"I am very, very happy because it is my first job as a manager. I think I chose the best option because I find here a club which is like a family," he continued.
"England is one of the great places to work in football and I would have liked to come here as a player, but it was not possible and now Middlesbrough gave me that chance."
Karanka actually almost joined Middlesbrough as a player under Steve McClaren in 2005, but the deal fell through.
"The problem was the timing, it was on the last day and I had my luggage ready to come here but it was not possible," he said, admitting he is well versed on Boro.
"I know all about Middlesbrough, they are a very good team and everyone says this is a Premier League club and it is built like a Premier League club and now I am going to work hard to put the Boro back in that place," he said.
Karanka revealed just how much of an impact Mourinho has been on him.
"Working with him everyday, every minute, is the best," Karanka said, revealing Mourinho told him to make the move.
"He is the best coach and an amazing person who is always helping you and you can learn so much from him, every day.
"I was speaking with him every day in the last month, he is a good friend with me and he is very happy for me. He told me that it was a great club, he said it is a good opportunity."
Basque native Karanka admits the North East and Middlesbrough is not dissimilar to his homeland and his former club Athletic Bilbao.
"It is similar, I find a lot of connections - like between Athletic Bilbao and Middlesbrough - and I hope I can be here for a long time," he said.
Asked if Boro fans can expect a Spanish influx of players, he insists the quality of any player will determine whether he comes in.
"Boro supporters can see that we are going to try and get the best players to play," he said. "Of course I know Spain because I was coach there, but I want players who want to be in the Premier League."