DIMI Konstantopoulos will be back in goal when Middlesbrough attempt to get back into the Sky Bet Champinship’s top two at Brentford on Saturday.
But Boro boss Aitor Karanka says he has the “belief” in Tomas Mejias who played a starring role between the sticks in the stunning FA Cup victory at Manchester City last weekend.
Konstantopoulos has established himself as the Boro number one and has been superb as the last line of defence which has conceded only 18 goals in the league.
Mejias had started the campaign as first-choice keeper, despite Dimi’s excellent form in the second half of last season.
But when the former Real Madrid stopper began suffered some uncertain form, Karanka put the former Hartlepool United promotion hero in goal and Boro never looked back.
However, Mejias has played both FA Cup games this year, with Konstantopoulos rested completely for the 2-0 wins at Barnsley and Man City, Connor Ripley being the understudy on the bench.
And Karanka said he had no qualms about playing his fellow Spaniard at the Etihad Stadium.
“I have known Tomas for 10 to 15 years, I have no doubts about him,” said the head coach.
“He was not good at the beginning of the season and I changed the keeper for that reason.
“But whether we play Barnsley or Chelsea I trust Tomas and Dimi and I trust Conor – he has a lot of potential.
“I was always going to play him at Man City.”
Kostantopoulos will be restored in Saturday’s lunchtime kick-off at Brentford where it is fifth against third in the promotion race. Boro were knocked off second spot by Derby County after Steve McClaren’s side beat Blackburn 2-0 in midweek.
The battle for promotion is ultra-tight with a mere two points separating the top five.
So close is it that Boro could end the weekend anywhere from first to sixth.