At this stage of the competition teams are divided in groups and the game away to Fulham is the first of six games to be played between now and the end of February with Boro and Fulham drawn in the same group as AFC Wimbledon and Charlton Athletic.

The top two in the group qualify for the knockout stages.

Boro go into the game on the back of two successive 2-1 defeats, the most recent coming at Darlington on Monday night when a lead was surrendered and Aston Villa ran out 2-1 winners.

"We have to see games out," reflects Lead Coach Paul Jenkins. "It hurts more to get in front and lose the game.

"I've told the players there's no time to sit around sulking. Analyse your own performance and do what you have to do to make it better. We know we have good players, we know what they can do, they just have to be consistent."

Both sides could be affected by international call-ups, but whatever side Fulham put out Jenkins knows Boro are in for a tough game: "Fulham are a very good side. I've watched them a couple of times this season and it's clear they have pace and power.

"We are going to have to be on the ball to compete."

The game comes just a few days before Boro are back on the road again, away to Cambridge in the Checkatrade Trophy.

"Games dare coming thick and fast, that's what we want," says Jenkins. "The players have to prove they're good enough, they have to deal with stuff out of possession a lot better.

"In possession we know we have some talented players out there."

Kick-off at Motspur Park is 4pm.