Tony Pulis reveals why Leeds and Norwich hold an advantage over Middlesbrough
Tony Pulis admits that the pressure will be on Middlesbrough when they travel to Brentford this weekend.
Boro face a trip to the capital in Saturday's late kick-off, and Pulis believes the late start will hand an advantage to promotion rivals Norwich City and Leeds, who both feature in traditional 3pm kick-offs.
Should they win, the pressure will be firmly put on the Teessiders to claim three points - something Pulis is well aware of.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Pulis said: "The worst thing about the late kick-off is that most teams have played so they've got an advantage if they win and that puts a bit of pressure on you to win.
"But we have to get on with it."
A trip to Brentford will prove a tough proposition for Middlesbrough, in what is their first outing in a fortnight following the international break.
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While the Bees' recent form has stuttered - especially since the departure of manager Dean Smith to Aston Villa - Pulis knows Griffin Park is a tough place to go.
But the home team's record of just one win in eleven should give Middlesbrough hope that they can reclaim top spot.
"They've got an identity as a football club and Dean Smith did a fantastic job there and he got a reward by getting the job at Aston Villa," said Pulis.
"They've got an identity, they have a way of doings that they stick to and they move into a new stadium next year and they've done well.
"It's a tight ground down there at Griffin Park so it's going to be a tough place to go."
Pulis also confirmed that he has no fresh injury worries following the international break, with the likes of Martin Braithwaite, Darren Randolph and George Saville returning unscathed.