Middlesbrough boss Garry Monk is concerned that his players will take victory for granted when they play host to managerless Sunderland.
The Black Cats parted company with Simon Grayson after the midweek 3-3 draw with Bolton and have only won one Championship match all season. Sunderland are 7/4 to be relegated this term and 19/4 to win at the Riverside Stadium on Sunday.
Billy McKinlay and former Boro defender Robbie Stockdale have been placed in caretaker charge of Sunderland, who are searching for their tenth permanent manager in nine years.
Monk said: “With derby games, form goes out the window and we just need to focus on ourselves and deliver what we need to deliver.
“We will just approach the game by focusing on ourselves.
“It’s now going to be difficult. Sunderland will come strong regardless of what situation they are in. It’s another difficult game for us.
“At home, we haven’t given our fans what we have wanted before and this is another motivation for us. We want to try and finish a good week and make it a great week.”
Middlesbrough are available at 9/4 to be promoted this season following last term’s relegation from the top-flight.