Besides Boro's Carling Cup-winning boss, there are a couple of connections among the coaching contingent.

McClaren's assistant at Rangers, John Eustace, had a loan spell with Boro in 2003 that was limited to one substitute appearance - the midfielder linked up with Tony Pulis at Stoke City later the same year.

On the Boro bench, Curtis Fleming was a Hoops coach until last year until he returned to Teesside and the club where he'd made nearly 300 appearances as a player.

And speaking of players, here's seven to pull on the shirt of both clubs.

Alex Baptiste

Like Eustace, Baptiste's Boro spell was all too brief. Having signed from Bolton Wanderers in the summer of 2015 to boost Boro's defensive options, Baptiste suffered an unfortunate leg break minutes into his debut for the club, a pre-season friendly at York. 

The majority of his time with Boro was spent recovering from that injury, including loan spells with Sheffield United and Preston North End. He made a single appearance for Boro in the League Cup against Fulham before leaving to join The Hoops in 2017. Baptiste has had seven outings for them this season, and linked up with promotion-chasing Luton Town on loan for the remainder of the campaign. 

Fabio da Silva

After a promising early career with Manchester United, one in which the Brazilian full-back won the Premier League title and started the Champions League final, Sir Alex Ferguson announced in April 2012 that Fabio da Silva would be spending time away from Old Trafford on loan to gain more first team experience. 

The club he joined was Queens Park Rangers. Although regular football was his reward for testing the waters away from the Red Devils, it was no doubt a taste of reality for Fabio with the Rs relegated at the end of his single season there. That was one of three top flight relegations that the now 28-year-old endured in his time with England, the most recent with Boro in 2017. 

Ever a popular figure with fans of each club he has played for due to his tenacity and workrate, Fabio now plies his trade in France after leaving Boro for Nantes last summer. After overcoming an injury setback, he's played 14 times for the Ligue Un club this campaign.

John O'Rourke

Northampton-born in 1945, John was a prolific goalscorer with Boro after he joined from Luton Town for £20,000 in 1966, scoring 42 goals in 72 league and cup matches, including a hat-trick in a 4-1 win over Oxford United on the final day of the 1966-67 season, a win which sealed promotion from the Third Division.

He was sold to Ipswich Town for £30,000 in 1968, but not before forming a formidable partnership with John Hickton.

O'Rourke was coming towards the end of his professional playing days when he joined QPR in 1971, although he would continue his impressive strike rate with another 12 goals in 34 appearances. A move to Bournemouth followed, with O'Rourke also turning out for a number of non-league clubs in the Dorset area before hanging up his boots to become a newsagent on the south coast. 

Mikkel Beck

Boro's first-ever signing under the Bosman transfer ruling, Beck initially struggled to adapt to the physicality of the English leagues. But after Boro's relegation from the top flight in 1997, the Danish striker came into his own, and was our leading league goalscorer as we gained promotion the following year - also earning an international recall.

Joining Derby County in 1999, it was a three-month loan deal from the Rams the following year that saw Beck feature for today's opponents. He scored four times in just eleven appearances, three from the penalty spot and three in the space of a week. 

Rangers supporters may well have wanted to keep the striker, but Beck was recalled by Derby in April 2000 in order to return to his homeland, signing for Danish Superliga club Aalborg Boldspilklub for the rest of the 1999–2000 Superliga season.

Luke Young

Young was a model of consistency for Boro, and made the right-back spot his own after joining the club from relegated Charlton Athletic in 2007. One of the highlights of his single season in the north east was a pile driver against former club Tottenham Hotspur at the Riverside. 

The Essex-born defender enjoyed further success upon moving to Aston Villa in 2008, playing alongside former Boro teammate Stewart Downing as the Midlands club reached the League Cup final, the FA Cup semi-final and competed in Europe after back-to-back 6th-place finishes in the Premier League.

Returning to the capital with QPR in 2011, Young as a regular for the Rs in the top flight in his first season but injuries meant he made just one appearance across his second and third season at Loftus Road, eventually calling time on his career in 2014.

Gary O'Neil 

After being handed his debut by current Boro boss Tony Pulis while at Portsmouth, Gary O'Neil found himself on Teesside in 2007 - the destination which would see him clock up over a century of appearances. O'Neil was a regular in the midfield across his three and a half seasons with us, and was snapped up by West Ham in January 2011. Helping the Hammers to promotion from the Championship, he achieved the same feat with Rangers having joined them for just one season, though he was sent off in the Play-Off final triumph over Derby County. A third promotion to his collection was added with his stay at Norwich City, before a two-year switch with Bristol City prior to his move to Bolton Wanderers last year. 

Kieron Dyer 

Spending the majority of his career in the North East with Newcastle United, former England international Kieron Dyer's playing days finished in the same region with a brief stint with us. Before he arrived at the Riverside, Dyer played in the capital with West Ham - a brief loan back at Ipswich in-between - and then QPR. His time at Loftus Road was limited to just four starts in all competitions across two seasons through injuries. He penned a short-term deal with Boro in January 2013, making seven starts and scoring twice. 

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