Tony Pulis reveals his Middlesbrough team news plans for Preston Carabao Cup tie
Tony Pulis has pledged to ring the changes for Middlesbrough's Carabao Cup tie at Preston North End tonight.
The travelling squad for tonight's 7.45pm KO at Deepdale includes TEN players to have progressed through the club's academy, while it will also be an opportunity for Pulis to give a handful of senior players some game time.
Pulis said: "This division has moved on in every shape and form since I was last in it 10 or 11 years ago.
"There’s a lot better coaches and more quality teams, and that means players playing international football.
"To ask players to come back from internationals and play an extra eight games compared to the Premier League, you’re taking a lot out of them.
"We’ll make a lot of changes [at Preston] - I want the supporters to know that.
"The ones who’ve been in the team will get a bit of a rest, we’ve got some tough away games coming up."
Rudy Gestede, Ashley Fletcher and Sam McQueen are among the senior players pushing for a start.
Pulius added: "They all played really well [as the Under-23s beat West Brom 3-2] , which is fabulous, what we want."
"Rudy and Fletcher will be involved and hopefully get 90 minutes against Preston.
"People like McNair, McQueen, Batth, Fry - they are the ones who will be looking to play."
Academy manager Craig Liddle is delighted to see the young players given the opportunity.
"Tony is absolutely great to work with," said Liddle.
"He takes a really keen interest in what we do and wants to give our young players the opportunity, which is great for everyone.
"It’s great experience for the young players and shows that there is a pathway within our football club for player development.
"It does send a message out, and as an academy, it’s something we are very proud of," he told the club website.