Boro turn to Konstantopoulos for Hull tie

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FORMER Hartlepool United goalkeeper Dimi Konstantopoulos will make his Middlesbrough debut against Hull City in tomorrow’s FA Cup third round tie.

On-loan keeper Shay Given is ineligible for the Riverside clash due to the arrangements in his loan contract from Aston Villa.

That means Konstantopoulos, who played 139 times in between the sticks for Hartlepool, will play his first competitive game on British soil since 2009 when he donned the Cardiff City jersey.

The 6ft 4in stopper, 35, reached the fourth round with Pools in 2005 and could repeat the feat tomorrow against Premier League opposition.

Karanka understands the meaning of the competition for the supporters.

He said: “We have to play well in our own stadium with our supporters.

“It’s an important game for our supporters, the FA Cup has a lot of excitement for them.

“I will play my best team.

“It’s important for the players to know that when we play well we can win every game.”

With the January transfer window now open, Karanka is keen to strengthen.

However the Spanish boss is keeping his cards close to his chest and should he fail to make additions would not be too disheartened.

He said: “I don’t know (if there will be any signings).

“I am happy with my team because everybody is working well.”