MIDDLESBROUGH will look to secure a morale-boosting Capital One Cup victory when Accrington Stanley visit the Riverside tonight.
Boss Tony Mowbray, whose side reached the quarter-finals last term, will field a strong team as Boro aim to make amends for their opening Championship loss to Leicester.
But Mowbray is wary of the potential banana skin offered by James Beattie’s League Two visitors.
“They’ve got experienced players such as Nicky Hunt and Danny Webber. They lost 4-1 at Newport County (on Saturday) and I’m sure they’ll have had a few words and want a reaction,” said the Boro manager. “They’ll be a very honest and hard-working side, fully committed to the game. This is a shot for nothing for them really.
“We have to guard against any lack of application and make sure we do our job. We’re not taking anything for granted against Accrington.
“We won’t want to change too much. Some players do need a game and there are one or two areas we’ll look to freshen up. But sometimes, if you make mass changes, the balance and chemistry isn’t right and you can get beaten by a lower-league side.
“We’ve got to make sure that, even if we make a few changes, our application is good. We’ll have a very positive approach.”
Defender Jonathan Woodgate is out following a family bereavement, and new signing Frazer Richardson will not be considered, but both are expected to be in the squad to visit Charlton this weekend.
Accrington boss Beattie is confident of springing a surprise, saying: “For this game, there’s no pressure on us. I’ll tell the guys to go there, enjoy themselves and take in the occasion, but it’s a game that we can win. I thoroughly believe that, and the players believe that.”