Neil Warnock has urged some of Boro’s squad to prove a point as he looks to shuffle the pack in the Carabao Cup tonight (kick-off 6pm).
The Boro boss has admitted he’ll look to share the workload around when Barnsley arrive at the Riverside amid an already hectic fixture schedule.
And while Warnock concedes that the early rounds of the competition can be gruelling, he is excited to offer opportunities to impress.
“It’s going to be a great game,” he said.
“I don’t usually enjoy watching these kind of games so much. Shrewsbury we had to win, to get that home win out of the way. Now it’s slightly different, it gives us chance to try one or two things.
“Lads who haven’t played yet, I want to see what their contribution is. They’ve all had good pre-seasons, so I want to see them perform and give me a decision to make, and push for a place in the first team really.”
Warnock says that it’s crucial that all of Boro’s squad are up to speed, and tonight’s match is useful for that.
“It’s important that everyone has time, minutes on the pitch, because we’re going to need everyone really as the season goes on. If you don’t get minutes in, and all of a sudden I have to call on them, that’s when you get muscle and injury problems, and let themselves down fitness-wise.
“These are good players, and you can’t put a training game on like this, so I’m looking forward to watching some of them.
“I think it’s important for five or six to come out and show me what they can do. I’ve no problem with their attitude but I want to see them grab the bull by the horns.
“I’ve said today, every one of you has something to prove to me know. You’ve all played at this level, so you have to knock my door down and say ‘you saw how I played, give me a chance.’ That’s what I’m looking for.”
Warnock also confirmed that new signing Sam Morsy is in line for his Boro debut.
“Yes he will, I’m looking forward to watching him.
“Dael [Fry] needs some minutes as well, he still thought he was 20% short on Friday so we’re hoping another 90 minutes will top him up."