They've tightened up at the back though and are unlikely to give anything away in the early stages against a risky Bournemouth side so the HT 0-0, as has been the case in Boro's last three matches, makes appeal. Over the last two and a half years, we have been winning here nearly every single game, so it has been different.
"Because with him we have a lot of pace and sometimes we need that pace, but we sometimes lose tactically on the pitch so we are trying to educate him on the training pitch and using the video so it's just to keep going because when he has the tactical knowledge, with his skill set he can be an unbelievable player".
For a side who had taken a single point from their first four games at the Riverside it was a heady moment, followed in the second half by another pleasing move finished by local boy Stewart Downing.
But, buoyed by taking an unlikely point at the Emirates Stadium, Karanka is refusing to write off any game, although he knows the bulk of his side's points are likely to come from the division's lower ranked teams.
He said: "Yes, of course".
Boro sealed all three points and their second Premier League clean sheet in succession with a resolute all-round display. What Gaston did wasn't a surprise for me. "I met him during my first season here and the job he is doing there is unbelievable".
The 24-year-old's career has been beset by injury problems and eyebrows were raised at the end of the summer transfer window when he agreed to leave his parent club Arsenal and join Bournemouth on a season-long loan deal.
However, the Cherries then responded as Josh King saw an effort from Jack Wilshere's corner cleared off the line by covering Boro midfielder Adam Clayton.
Bournemouth full-back Adam Smith had a shot blocked and Afobe looped a header onto the bar in stoppage time, but Boro's victory was well deserved.
The significance is not lost on Howe and he is pleased with the positive influence the midfielder is having on his squad.
"I think he's an outstanding footballer and I was delighted to see him play 90 minutes". "It was a really good performance from him because the team played really, really well and I think he is really happy here".
Bournemouth head to the Riverside on Saturday still looking for their first away win of the season in the Premier League but Howe believes his team will soon break their duck.
They may not have won in their last eight games, but Aitor Karanka says that Middlesbrough are improving and have shown that they can compete in the Premier League.