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Aitor Karanka on complacency and competition

I hope the team has learned from what happened against Rotherham or Sheffield Wednesday when both games were at home and we didn’t approach the game the way we should.

Aitor Karanka

Aitor Karanka says there can be no room for complacency when Blues welcome newly promoted Wycombe Wanderers to St. Andrew’s on Wednesday evening.

The Chairboys recorded their first win of the season on Saturday and the Blues boss believes his players will need to be at their best to record a third straight victory.

Karanka explained how he’ll be reminding his players that they cannot afford a drop in performance levels and believes the fierce competition for places will maintain the standard set in recent games.

“We are unbeaten in the last three games, we have won the last two, we are playing at home against a recently promoted team - it’s the perfect scenario for players to be complacent,” said Karanka.

“I hope the team has learned from what happened against Rotherham or Sheffield Wednesday when both games were at home and we didn’t approach the game the way we should.

“If we do that again we will have problems for sure, even approaching the game the right way, Wycombe will cause problems.

“They are an improving side and they’re a good team, so I hope we go onto the pitch with the right mentality”

“If we think Wycombe is going to be an easy game because they’re a recently promoted team, we’ll be making a big mistake.

“We need to know it will be tough and we will need one-hundred-and-fifty percent to win the game.

“I will remind the players for sure, but I don’t think they will need reminding because they know we have to improve ourselves with every game.

“They know it is not about the opponent or becoming complacent. It’s about going on to the pitch and concentrating on your own performance.

“They know if they don’t perform well, we have another player to come in and replace him.”

Karanka made five changes for Saturday’s trip to Preston and has already utilised a number of different formations in the first two months of the season.

After seeing his side record a first win at Deepdale in nineteen years, the Blues boss admitted he has a selection headache ahead of Wednesday’s clash - but it’s one he welcomes.

“Everybody is good, and we are ready for the two games this week,” he added. “This is the best feeling.

“All of the players who were brought in at Preston performed well so now I have a big problem, but I love to have that problem.

“It is true, we brought eleven players in, but we finished the game on Saturday with eight players who were here last year.

“It goes to show that the players who were here last year are good enough to play and to win games.

“When we played against Rotherham and didn’t play well, I didn’t have the players who are as fit as they are now.

“Maybe the players were looking at the bench and they couldn’t see a replacement for them so maybe it could be an excuse for complacency.

“Now there is not one excuse for complacency.

“If they don’t perform well, they have another teammate who is desperate to play.

“It’s amazing to have eleven players start a game and another seven players on the bench who can all make an impact as they did last game.”

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