Graeme Lee is looking for a response from his U23s when they head for Blackburn in the PL Cup on Friday (7pm).
It’s the second game in the space of five days for our youngsters, coming hot on the heels of Monday’s 4-1 defeat by Manchester United at the Riverside.
The reverse denied Lee’s side the chance to close the gap on the leading pack in the second division of PL2 and was a small blip on what has otherwise been a good start to the season.
“I was disappointed that we didn’t play with the intensity that we can,” said the lead coach. “That was the biggest frustration for me.
“It wasn’t a 4-1 – two goals late on gave the scoreline a distorted look – but I was disappointed that we didn’t impose ourselves like we can.
“Manchester United are a good side with some real quality individuals, but I know we can do better.”
Boro will be without a number of the players who figured in that game on Monday, due to Jonathan Woodgate’s first team squad making the trip to Queens Park Rangers, but the absences will provide opportunities for others to step up.
Boro’s opening PL Cup group game ended in a 1-1 draw with Burnley, Ben Liddle scoring a deserved equaliser from the penalty spot in the final minute. The Blackburn trip is the second of six group games for Boro, with a trip to Crystal Palace following on before Christmas.
“It a cup game and we want to do well,” said Lee.
“We’re looking for a response from them after Monday because they know they can do better than they did.
“We’ve had a good start to the season and the lads will go to Blackburn with plenty of confidence and belief in what they’re doing and knowing how they’ve performed so far.”