The duo were among four players who signed July extensions to see the season out along with Ryan Shotton and Adam Clayton. Shotton has now departed the and while Clayton may yet figure in the squad at Hillsborough, the midfielder has played just 15 minutes of football since the new boss arrived and missed the weekend defeat by Cardiff.

Captain Friend and left-back Johnson have both started the seven games Warnock has been in at the helm, and the boss says he has been delighted with both players.

“It’s been a pleasure to have lads like that,” said Warnock. “They have given me everything. 

“I’ve never seen Marvin play better than he has these past few weeks.  He’s done his cause no harm at all. 

“And George is George. He has been exemplary both on and off the field.”

The Hillsborough clash will be Friend’s 299th appearance in a Boro shirt, having joined the club from Doncaster Rovers in the summer of 2012. 

Johnson will clock up his 60th appearance for Boro since arriving three summers ago, although he also collected a Sky Bet Championship promotion winners medal with Sheffeld United while on loan at Bramall Lane last term.

The future of both players is likely to be finalised once the curtain has come down on the season.

“Everything will be looked at once the season is finished,” added Warnock. “I’ve given my opinions, not just on the players who are out of contract, but those who aren’t as well.”

Daniel Ayala, Rudy Gestede, Ryan Shotton and Ravel Morrison have all left the club in recent week while Jonny Howson has extended his time at the club by a further year.