Aitor Karanka admitted he was happy to go into the international break unbeaten as Middlesbrough played out a forgettable goalless draw at West Brom on Sunday.
Sunday’s result means that Boro have taken five points from their first three games back in the Premier League – and the Spanish coach feels they’ll claim plenty of points this term if they continue to play with the same spirit.
“I think it is a really important point,” Karanka said in his post-match press conference.
“After Wednesday, playing 120 minutes [against Fulham in the EFL Cup] and losing the game, it was really difficult.
“And to play here at West Brom is always tough.
“For that reason, I am really pleased and proud, especially of the spirit of the team in the second half.”
Adam Forshaw has been named Sky's Man of the Match because he "played a good pass last week". Just about sums up #WBAMID
— TEAMtalk (@TEAMtalk) August 28, 2016
Karanka believes that his side are continuing to learn as the Premier League season progresses.
“In this league, you know the quality of the players and the pressure of the crowd,” he said.
“We are disciplined, but is impossible always to play in the way you like to play.
“But we’ve learned that we can’t play below 100 percent.
“This team is in the Premier League because we have been fighting a lot for the last two-and-a-half years.
“If we keep up this spirit we will win games.”
With Boro missing six senior players through injury, Karanka is pleased to go into next week’s international break with a platform to build from.
“We have time to recover the players who are injured,” he said.
“To have five points on the table, I am really pleased.”