Chris Wilder has made seven changes for Middlesbrough’s FA Cup third round tie with Mansfield Town.
Boro will be firmly concentrating on maintaining their good form and exciting position in the Championship league table. That in turn, has seen Wilder hand some opportunities to fringe players for the trip to Field Mill.
There could be a lot of ins and outs at The Riverside this month, the seven players introduced into the starting XI have the chance to show Wilder that they can contribute in the second half of the season and to gain some much needed sharpness.
The seven changes from Boro’s last gasp victory at Blackpool are as follows: Dael Fry, Anfernee Dijksteel, Isaiah Jones, Matt Crooks, Marcus Tavernier, Onel Hernandez and Andraz Sporar out with Nathan Wood, Williams Kokolo, Joseph Gibson, Caolan Boyd-Munce, Jonny Howson, Josh Coburn and Uche Ikpeazu coming in.
Joe Lumley, Sol Bamba, Paddy McNair and Lee Peltier keep their place to maintain some consistency within the side. The Stags may be buoyed by the changes that Wilder has made as it does decrease the experience and quality of the side.
It is a huge opportunity for Kokolo, and Gibson in particular who are far more accustomed to playing in Premier League 2 for the club.
Boyd-Munce meanwhile, gets to make his debut for the club just a day after joining from Championship rivals Birmingham City just a day earlier.
Quiz: Can you name which club Middlesbrough signed these 20 strikers from?
Here, we have taken a look at some of the best of the reaction from Boro fans on Twitter to the line-up announcement…
Watch Gibbo get man of the match today, fast and tricky, glad he’s got his chance 👏
— gibgod (@gibgod) January 8, 2022
Boyd-Munce and Gibson in those 2 attacking midfield roles could be class, excited to see how they do https://t.co/NXHrzfr4Uy
— Alfie 🇸🇮 (@alfredmfc) January 8, 2022
Stronger than I expected tbh. Pointless being critical or anything about selection. Listening to Wilder's press conference his hands have been tied to a large extent. https://t.co/VNRm46rS3y
— Rob Scott (@RobSc0tt) January 8, 2022
— THESMOGGIES (@THESMOGGIESFANS) January 8, 2022
Happy with that – nice blend of youth and experience, saving some players for next week. https://t.co/icpLtqRPa4
— Rob Fletcher (@rob_fletcher_) January 8, 2022
Excited to see how the youngsters do today, no payero isn’t great but let’s focus on who we have playing and a couple of debuts
— Ben Green🏴 (@bengreenOffical) January 8, 2022
Fancy an upset here
— Mal (@TheRedCritic) January 8, 2022