Boro Head Coach Aitor Karanka admits he had mixed emotions after learning of Nigeria's failure to qualify for the African Cup Of Nations.

Nigeria's elimination from the qualifiers came after a 2-2 draw with South Africa on Wednesday and their exit now means central defender Kenneth Omeruo will not be called upon for international duty early in the New Year and will be available for selection at Boro.

"It's good for us that Ken (Omeruo) will be available in January and February," said Aitor.

"I think about my team and the club, and thinking selfishly is good for me and the club. 

"Ken will be disappointed because it's important for players to be involved in these kind of major tournaments, but I'm sure he's going to be happy being here because the team is playing really well and he's the kind of player who likes to be involved with the team."

Both Ben Gibson and Kenneth Omeruo picked up minor injuries on international duty, but the pair are both expected to be fit and neither injury is being treated as serious by Boro's medical staff. 

"I have to be careful with Ben (Gibson) and Ken coming back from international duty because Gibbo had a little problem with his ankle when he first came back after his the last game. 

"And Ken has only just played with Nigeria on Wednesday so I must know if both of them will be fit and ready to play."