Charlton v Middlesbrough: Southgate keeping eye on rising star Reach

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka.
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka.
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MIDDLESBROUGH are set for another away boost from their growing travelling army at Charlton this afternoon.

After their epic penalty shoot-out loss in the Capital One Cup on a remarkable evening at Liverpool on Tuesday, Boro – backed by a noisy sell-out following of 2,800 at Anfield – will again not be short of support at the Valley.

An away contingent in excess of 2,000 is expected to make the long trip to south-east London, following on from the 3,600 supporters who went to Huddersfield a fortnight ago, which represented the biggest away following in the country.

After his side’s gruelling cup exertions, Aitor Karanka is expected to make changes to freshen his line-up, with some healthy options at his disposal.

Meanwhile, one of Boro’s heroes from their fine showing at Anfield is being tipped for England honours in the shape of winger Adam Reach.

The Chester-le-Street-born player, who spent part of last season on loan at Bradford City, has been in impressive form this term and netted in the 2-2 draw against Merseyside big guns Liverpool.

Reach is reportedly being monitored by England Under-21 manager and former Boro chief Gareth Southgate, who has given chances at Under-21 level to his team-mate Ben Gibson.

Admitting Boro took plenty from Tuesday to take into a run of three matches in seven days, Reach said: “I don’t think we can take any negatives from the game apart from obviously losing the shoot-out but we’ve got Charlton next and some tough games.

“We will take a lot of confidence from that knowing we can challenge against top Premier League sides, but we need to keep our feet on the ground when playing other teams in the Championship.”