Tony Pulis reveals what Lewis Wing and Marcus Tavernier must do to earn Middlesbrough starts

Lewis Wing is pushing for a Middlesbrough start
Lewis Wing is pushing for a Middlesbrough start

Tony Pulis has lavished praise on young duo Lewis Wing and Marcus Tavernier - and has encouraged the pair to remain grounded as the pursue further first team opportunities.

The pair have been handed regular opportunities to impress for Middlesbrough in their Carabao Cup run, and once again excelled during the 1-0 win over Premier League side Crystal Palace in midweek.

Wing's fine strike proved to be decisive, while Tavernier looked lively throughout and earned special praise from Pulis for his role in the triumph.

Such performances have lead to calls for the duo to start on a more regular basis and, while Pulis didn't rule out handing an opportunity to the youngsters at Stoke City tomorrow afternoon, he offered the pair advice on how to seal those starts.

He encouraged the pair to keep their feet on the ground and work hard - then take the chance once presented.

Reflecting on their performances against Palace, Pulis said: "It's fantastic.

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"Lewis (Wing) got a lot of the credit with his goal and the way he played and that's deserved.

"But I think Tav (Marcus Tavernier), with the way we played, was absolutely fantastic and he perhaps didn't get the credit he deserved.

"They've got to keep their feet on the ground and fingers crossed they keep pushing to get regular places.

"They need to dip their toes in and make sure when they get their chance, they take them, like they did on Wednesday night."

Pulis, meanwhile, is expecting a tough test when he returns to his former stomping ground of the Bet365 Stadium.

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While new manager Gary Rowett has not quite seen the return on his summer investment that he would have hoped, Pulis knows that they will pose a stern test of his side's promotion credentials.

"They've spent a decent amount of money and Gary's (Rowett) gone in there as he knows what it's like," he added.

"Nobody has the right within the league to think they're better than the other teams, that's how much of a tight league it is.

"The ground is a little bit different from when I was there, and it's a fabulous stadium to play and hopefully we can quieten them down a bit."