NEW Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka will be welcomed by fans waving 6,000 red handkerchiefs at the Riverside this afternoon for his first home match in charge.

But he will hope they are not being used to wipe away tears of disappointment, admitting he could have had an easier test for his debut in the Riverside dugout.

Wanderers head to Teesside off the back of three successive wins on the road and looking to extend an eight-match unbeaten Championship run that stretches back two months to mid-September when they lost to another Spanish boss in the shape of Brighton’s Oscar Garcia.

Karanka is aiming to have Spanish eyes smiling again today but accepts his team faces a tough proposition after losing his first match in charge at Leeds a week ago.

Karanka, who was assistant to Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid, said: “This is a game I’ve been looking forward to since I joined the club two weeks ago.

“I’m looking forward to my first home game and hopefully we can get a result against Bolton that will make the supporters happy.

“Bolton are a good team and they have gone eight games without losing so it won’t be easy. “But the players have worked very hard, their attitude in training has been excellent and they’ve done everything I’ve asked of them.

“The fans were great at Leeds and I’m looking forward to experiencing a game at the Riverside Stadium as a coach.”