Promotion still the focus for Boro
Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray has emphasised that promotion remains the absolute priority despite the welcome distraction of a Capital One Cup quarter-final this week.
Boro visit Premier League outfit Swansea City on Wednesday evening attempting to earn themselves a place in the last four of a competition they last won eight years ago.
"Our main target is to win league matches," Mowbray told SkySports. "When you are this close in a cup competition, you don't pick weakened teams, you pick your best team or your strongest team available to go and try to win.
"But I am still very, very conscious of the preparation for Saturday, which is why we are staying over rather than getting back at 5am so the players can get a decent night's sleep," he added. "We want to win every game, and yet realistically you can't win every game. But we will try to win the next game in front of us, which is Swansea."
The visitors are facing their twelfth successive League Cup tie on the road but have already accounted for Bury, Gillingham, Preston North End and neighbours Sunderland on their travels this season.