Richard Keogh says Derby County know what to expect from Middlesbrough on Saturday but is determined to come away with another three points.
It's been a fruitful week for the Rams so far, with a 2-1 win over Sheffield United on Saturday having been complemented by a 4-1 thrashing of West Bromwich Albion on Wednesday night to leave Derby just two points behind leaders Leeds United.
And with another top five side to host them at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday, skipper Keogh says the Rams will have to be ready for what's thrown at them.
He told RamsTV: “I have worked with Tony (Pulis) before when I was a young lad coming through at Stoke so I know how his teams like to play and what he is like as a manager and a person..
“Middlesbrough are a good team, they have good quality in there and they don’t like conceding too many goals with the way they play so it’s going to be a big challenge for us.
“We are going to go out there and do the things that have got us the last two results especially. We know it’s going to be a tough because it’s a quick turnaround and the schedule has not been kind to us but it’s the way it falls sometimes.
“We will recover well and get ourselves up for it. These are the games that you want to play in and it’s against a team that are around the top of the league again so let’s go out there and play our way and see how we get on.”
The tight nature of the Sky Bet Championship has, as always, meant that every game is crucial and that's particularly the case in the top half. Therefore, Keogh knows how important it is to beat your nearest challengers.
He said: “We are looking forward to the challenge, it’s another one for us and it’s great. It’s thick and fast in the Championship and I think the league is so tight this season. Down to 13th there is only six points between the top and nobody has run away with it.
“It’s a tight league, but an open one for any team this season. It’s exciting to be in it and we have as good a chance as anyone else if we carry on playing like we are playing and keep getting better, like I know we can, and it’s going to be an exciting season I think.
“We’re in a really good place but like the manager said after the game against West Brom, there are still aspects of the game we can improve on. We won’t get carried away because we’ve been through this before, especially this season when we’ve had a few bumps already. We just need to get as good as we can at our game and see what happens.
“It was a good night on Wednesday but we’ve got a quick turnaround now so we need to make sure we recover and go to Middlesbrough and put in a good performance hopefully.”