Boro boss Tony Mowbray insists Carling Cup is a priority

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MIDDLESBROUGH boss Tony Mowbray today insisted he will be taking the Carling Cup seriously despite contemplating changes ahead of their trip to Peterborough tonight (kick-off 7:45pm).

Despite making an unbeaten start to the campaign, which has elevated Boro to third place on the Championship ladder, Mowbray is wary about starting his ‘strongest’ XI after the injury to striker Scott McDonald.

This will be Boro’s fourth game in 11 days and Mowbray will be keen to give the likes of Seb Hines and Richie Smallwood some much-needed game time.

He told SportMail: “I am tempted to make some changes, but we are taking a very strong squad with us. There won’t be any wholesale changes, it won’t be a case of playing lots of youngsters and we will go out to win the game.

“As a manager, it is sometimes about trusting players and there are a few players who haven’t played much this season who I do trust, who’ve shown in the past that they can do a good job in the first team and so there is a fair chance that some of them will be involved.”

Mowbray’s acknowledges the thin nature of his squad and the hamstring injury suffered by McDonald in the 3-1 home win against Birmingham leaves Boro with just one recognised striker in Marvin Emnes ahead of tonight’s game at London Road.

He said: “It puts a heavy burden on Marvin with Scott being injured.

“But we’ll come up with a way of playing that will hopefully benefit the team.

“You’ve seen this year, generally, I like to play two strikers and it’s difficult when you’ve only got one fit striker.

“But we’ll go there and be competitive and, as we showed at the weekend, we scored three goals in the second half without Scott against Birmingham, so we will take that confidence in to the game.”

SEE Wednesday’s Mail for full story ...