Tony Pulis verdict on Middlesbrough's favourable Carabao Cup draw and his advice for midfielder
Middlesbrough boss Tony Pulis won't be taking anything for granted despite being drawn against Burton Albion at home in the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.
League One Burton are the lowest-ranked team left in the competition but Pulis is experienced enough not to get too carried away despite being only a couple of games away from a Wembley final.
Pulis said: "We played Burton last year and they absolutely murdered us. We scored a late goal and were very fortunate.
"I watched them play Nottingham Forest [on Tuesday], they were by far the better team, created the best chances and if anybody takes them lightly, you'll get the same result.
"I’ve got great respect for Nigel Clough, they’re a very hard-working team, well set up, and they’ve got nothing to lose."
Lewis Wing blasted Middlesbrough into the quarter-finals as his first senior goal for the club dumped Premier League Crystal Palace out of the competition.
The midfielder, who was playing Northern League football for Shildon and working in a factory 20 months ago, thumped home a 25-yard piledriver in first-half stoppage time to clinch a 1-0 victory in front of a crowd of 11,850 at the Riverside Stadium.
It was little more than the home side deserved on a night when both Pulis and Roy Hodgson made eight changes as the Teessiders found the greater cohesion despite having on-loan Southampton midfielder Sam McQueen carried off on a stretcher before the break.
Wing has starred in Boro’s last two Carabao Cup games, the midfielder signed a new long-term contract last month.
On the 23-year-old, Pulis said: "He's a good player but he’s got lots to improve on and lots to learn.
"He’s a bit naive in certain things at the moment, but he's a wonderful, wonderful lad and loves every minute of playing football.
"We’ve got him to sign a new contract, which we’re delighted about. He’s got to keep his feet on the ground, keep working hard and doing what he does, and one day he’ll be a regular in the team."
On the win, Pulis reflected: "I thought we played really well in the first half, although there’s this disease we’ve got where we create great opportunities and don’t turn enough into chances. Then when we do, we don't score enough.
"It was a wonder goal from Wingy, a wonderful strike and we deserved to be one up. Then in the second half, we had to show what we’ve got, and that’s plenty of spirit and plenty of resilience.
"It’s a good group. Everybody works very hard and enjoys each other's company. I’m really pleased. Palace are a Premier League club so you know they’ll have moments, but we restricted them really well."
Quarter final ties will be played week commencing 17 December.