Tony Pulis says he has been pleased with the response from his Boro team in the last two games, and wants the same attitude and application from a much-changed starting line-up in the FA Cup tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).
Injuries mean the Boro boss is likely to introduce several fresh faces against League One opponents Peterborough United, and Pulis feels that could make for a cracking cup tie.
"It will be very open," he said.
"Starting with the basis of what we built the team on so far this season which has been a really solid back four, none of them will be playing and we've got one or two other knocks and bruises.
"The Christmas period has caught up with us a little bit so there will be changes tomorrow."
After the disappointment of losing to Sheffield Wednesday at the Riverside on Boxing Day, Boro beat bottom side Ipswich before earning a creditable draw against derby on New Year's Day. Now Pulis wants to take that momentum into cup competition tomorrow.
"I'd like to say we're a competitive team - every game we go out and do our best. We've got some very honest professionals who give everything for the club," he said.
"Obviously we took a bit of stick after the Sheffield Wednesday game, but the response in the last two games, we were right on it. Against Ipswich we had more shots on goal than any other team in the country, not just in the Championship. The lads had something to prove and they went out and proved it.
"Then to show the response that we did at Derby - to come back and be really disappointed we didn't win the game - everybody at the football club should be proud of the attitude and application.
"Tomorrow will be a different team, I'm not going to try and kid anybody or pull the wool over anyone's eyes.
"And the lads with he shirt will have to give everything as well."