Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis has confirmed he is set to shuffle the pack for the visit of Preston North End on Wednesday evening.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the Middlesbrough boss said due to the games coming thick and fast in the Championship, he may have to freshen up his side for the game against Preston this evening.

Injuries have meant Pulis has stuck by a tried and tested starting eleven and 5-3-2 formation for three consecutive games, with Jonny Howson and George Saville operating as wing-backs.

With George Friend coming back into the fold, and Aden Flint making his way back to full fitness, Pulis could bring in the first choice defensive duo for tonight’s clash against Alex Neil’s side.

“I’ve watched training today and there’s a couple there who are a little bit tired,” he said.

“They’ve had long seasons and we might switch a few up, change a few around a bit.

“We’ve got a three game week this week, we’ve got the game tomorrow and then we go to Villa on Saturday so might make one or two changes.

“Then when we come back we have 9/10 games in 18 days or whatever it is,” he added. “It’s pretty hectic.

“We have to keep the players fit and fresh and ready to go.”

Middlesbrough face a tough run of fixtures in the next few weeks, starting with Preston at home. They then play Aston Villa, who comfortably beat Boro 3-0 in the reverse fixture before facing promotion hopefuls Norwich City and Bristol City at The Riverside.

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Lifelong Boro fan - from the highs of watching Juninho and the Carling Cup victory, to the lows of Gordon Strachan and Lee Dong Gook

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