Cape Town - Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka was delighted to see his team mark their return to the Premier League with a 2-1 win over Sunderland on Sunday.
Boro went ahead after 13 minutes at the Stadium of Light thanks to Uruguayan striker Cristhian Stuani, who added a second just before half-time, with Patrick van Aanholt pulling one back for the Black Cats in the 71st minute.
"The most important thing is the points," Karanka said. "It is always most important to win the game. But it is especially important in a derby, for the crowd.
"Today we had a derby, and a lot of pressure and emotions. The players handled the game really well.
"We are playing really well, with our intensity, and it's important for us to continue to add points as soon as possible."
This is Middlesbrough's first season back in the top flight since relegation after the 2008/09 campaign, and an agonizing play-off defeat last year.
"They have been waiting for this moment," Karanka added. "I am pleased for the players, and for them."