Andy Drury is aiming to dent Middlesbrough’s unbeaten home start to the season tomorrow, but still expects the Teesiders to be in the promotion shake-up come May.
The midfielder believes Tony Mowbray’s side will be there or thereabouts at the end of the season but is confident that Town can claim all three points from the Riverside Stadium this weekend.
“I think they will be around the top six come the end of the season and they’ve made some good signings this summer,” Andy told the Club website.
“They weren’t far off last season, so I’d imagine them to be up there again if I’m honest.
“But I think if we play at a high-tempo like we know we can do and pop the ball about, then I see no reason why we can’t cause them problems and we will be going all out to get the win.”
Paul Jewell should be strengthened by the return of skipper Carlos Edwards, after missing the draw with Huddersfield with a groin injury. Tommy Smith has returned from international duty with New Zealand to team back up with the squad, whilst loan signing Guirane N’Daw will be pushing for a start after impressing for the U21s development side last week.
Middlesbrough are expected to include former Town midfielder Grant Leadbitter in their starting line-up. The 26-year old left Portman Road in the summer after his contract expired, signing a three-year deal at the Riverside Stadium. Boss Tony Mowbray is sweating on the fitness levels of Mustapha Carayol, Josh McEachran and Ishmael Miller ahead of the clash, although youngster Curtis Main has been ruled out. Mowbray will also be without the services of long-term injury victims Rhys Williams and Nicky Bailey.
Where they finished last season
Where they currently stand
One to watch
Ishmael Miller. Whilst the majority of Town eyes will be on former skipper Grant Leadbitter, Boro do pose a strong attacking threat up front. Miller, who has joined the club on loan from Championship rivals Nottingham Forest, could line up alongside last season’s top scorer Marvin Emnes. The striker, who began his career at Manchester City, is no stranger to Tony Mowbray having worked with the former Town defender during his time at West Brom.
Referee: Phillip Gibbs
Assistants: Ryan Johnson and Alf Greenwood
Fourth Official: Danny Markha
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