The boss could be without central defender Dani Ayala – the player is currently facing a four-game ban, but the club submitted a claim for his wrongful dismissal during Wednesday’s game against Preston North End, and the outcome of the resultant hearing will play a key factor in selection.

The boss also spoke of tiredness in the ranks after the 2-1 loss on Wednesday and says he may move to “freshen things up” at Villa Park when Boro look to respond to back-to-back league defeats for the first time since December 2017.

“We always said there’ll be bumps in the road,” said Pulis. “It’s about keeping everybody on the ground. This week is the first time we’ve lost two league games in a row since I came here, so it’s about showing a bit of character now.

“In terms of Dani, we haven’t heard whether it’s a positive or a negative yet, and we won’t hear until later so that won’t give us a lot of time to prepare.

“The important thing is that the players we pick…we’ll freshen things up and make a couple of changes if we can…they need to give everything.

“We’ve got enough experienced players, the main thing is that it’s not about the last game it’s the next game. We have to make sure we keep focused and keep going.”

There are no new injury worries after the midweek game against Preston.