Boro season to start with League Cup tie against Bury

MIDDLESBROUGH’S season will kick off early with a Saturday three o’clock League Cup tie.

Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray
Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray

MIDDLESBROUGH’S season will kick off early with a Saturday three o’clock League Cup tie.

Boro and Bury have been granted permission to play their first-round tie on August 11, a week before their league campaigns kick off.

Manager Tony Mowbray is expecting the Shakers to make it a tough start to Boro’s competitive programme.

“It’s a cup competition and we’ll expect a very tough game from a team who finished in the middle of League One last season,” said the Boro manager.

“It’s before our season kicks-off but hopefully we’ll be ready and we’ll do as we did last season at Walsall (where they won 3-0) and be as professional as possible.

“Let’s see if we can start the season away from home like we did for most of last season with a good result.”

Bury were 14th in last season’s League One.

The first round draw was made yesterday, with games scheduled for the week commencing August 13. Clubs have been told they can move their matches to the previous weekend if both sides agree.

Hartlepool United have been drawn away to League Two play-off winners Crewe Alexandra, while Carlisle United host Crewe Alexandra, 14th in the bottom tier last season.

Carlisle are offering free entry to season ticket holders.

“We wanted to look for new ways to say thank you to our season-ticket holders and we said right at the off-set that one method of doing that was to grant free entry for the first round fixtures in the Capital One Cup and the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, if we were drawn at home,” managing director John Nixon explained.

Manager Greg Abbott was content with the draw, saying: “It’ll be a tough game because both sides will want to set the new season off on the right foot.

“There will be no better way to do that than with a win in this competition ahead of the first league game the following weekend, so we’re going to have to be ready.”

Hartlepool are hoping to re-sign one of the goalscorers from their last League Cup meeting with Crewe, Tommy Miller.

The midfielder, who scored in a 3-3 draw at Victoria Park in 1999, has been released by Huddersfield Town. Another former player, Durham-born striker Steve Howard, was released by Leicester City.

Manager Neale Cooper opened talks with the pair before going on holiday.

Midfielder Miller, 33, scored 35 goals in 137 Hartlepool games before moving on to a variety of clubs including Sunderland. Thirty-six-year-old Howard scored 27 goals in 147 appearances for the Teessiders.

Meanwhile, Carlisle United manager Greg Abbott has demanded Jordan Cook’s agent show more “respect”.

When the 22-year-old striker was released by Sunderland in the summer it was widely expected he would make his Brunton Park loan permanent.

Cook scored four goals in 14 Carlisle appearances last season.

But having heard nothing from the Sunderland-born player’s agent, Abbott is starting to wonder if that is the case. It is his representative, not Cook, he appears to hold responsible.

“I’ve made numerous phone calls to his agent and the last I heard was that he was talking to Championship clubs,” Abbott told Carlisle’s official website.

“I was told I would be kept up to date on the outcome but I’ve had no response since. I’m disappointed with that but I’ll keep trying to contact the agent to see where we’re at.

“I suppose what I’m saying is I would like Jordan’s agent to show us the same respect we’ve shown him and give us an answer as to whether his player is interested or not. It’s something I’ll keep trying to chase up.”

Accrington finished 14th in last season’s League Two.

DRAW: Port Vale v Burnley; Derby v Scunthorpe; Rochdale v Barnsley; Notts County v Bradford; Hull v Rotherham; Fleetwood v Nottingham Forest; CARLISLE UNITED v Accrington; Doncaster v York; Crewe v HARTLEPOOL UNITED; Bury v MIDDLESBROUGH; Chesterfield v Tranmere; Sheffield United v Burton; Blackpool v Morecambe; Leeds v Shrewsbury; Preston v Huddersfield; Oldham v Sheffield Wednesday; Cheltenham v Milton Keynes Dons; Ipswich v Bristol Rovers; Stevenage v AFC Wimbledon; Exeter v Crystal Palace; Yeovil v Colchester; Birmingham v Barnet; Bristol City v Gillingham; Northampton v Cardiff; Plymouth v Portsmouth; Wolves v Aldershot; Walsall v Brentford; Millwall v Crawley; Torquay v Leicester; Dagenham v Coventry; Peterborough v Southend; Swindon v Brighton; Watford v Wycombe; Charlton v Leyton Orient; Oxford v Bournemouth.

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