TONY Mowbray is ready to give Manchester City loan striker Alex Tchuimeni-Nimely a Carling Cup cameo - as he eyes a result to extend the "momentum" of Middlesbrough's bright Championship start.
Boro travel to South London for the second time in the space of four days tonight to take on Crystal Palace in the third round of the League Cup, hopeful of replicating Saturday’s Championship victory at Selhurst Park.
It is a measure of how important Mowbray will be taking the competition that he plans to utilise the same squad which triumphed over the weekend, albeit adding the exciting Tchuimeni-Nimely to the bench.
The Liberian-born England under-20 international is one of City’s brightest Academy talents, possessing lightening pace that makes him a potentially potent addition to Boro’s squad.
Mowbray – who has presided over a fine start to Boro’s season – sees the Carling Cup as the perfect stage for the 20-year-old to make his Boro bow.
Mowbray revealed: “Alex will travel for the game. He is a young boy and he is bursting to get his senior career going.
“It is fantastic for a young lad like that to be at a club like Manchester City, but we all know how difficult it is to game time on the pitch at somewhere like that.
“We are here to try to facilitate a bit of that for him, and we are hoping he will help our strike force that has being doing so well this season.
Hopefully, he will add competition and goals as well. We look forward to seeing him out on the pitch.
“I would like to think (Alex) can do a bit of everything.
“He is a dynamic player with fast-twitch muscles who can burst past people and score a goal.
“He has scored a lot of goals in training in the last few days, so let’s hope he can take that on to the pitch.
“He will have to get an understanding of how we play, what demands we put on our strikers and where we will be looking for him to go at certain times of the game.
“That will come over the next few months, I am sure, and hopefully he will have a successful period for us.”
While some Championship teams gunning for promotion have happily exited the Carling Cup playing under-strength sides, that is not Mowbray’s style.
His West Brom side reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup in the year they were tilting for promotion from the Championship and the manager sees the competition as key to building a winning habit.
That will not be done to the detriment of the team, with Mowbray monitoring the fitness of key men, but he will not deliberately dilute a side that has done so well so far.
He added: “We put strong teams out in the Carling Cup because we want to progress.
“There is a balance to be struck. You want to keep the momentum going and keep the squad together so they are all doing the same work.
“We are taking pretty much the same squad down – there are no senior players being left behind.
“Everyone is coming, even if some of them end up sitting on the bench.
“They will all have done the same travelling and they will be getting back at four or five in the morning. We will know where they all are in terms of their bodies and their recovery.”
Boro are also boosted by the likely return of midfielder Kevin Thomson, although Mowbray has made no promises about accommodating him with the team doing so well.
He said: “The midfield has been doing pretty well for us, but Kevin will bring more competition and that is always welcome.
“He wll have to earn a place in the team because the balance of the midfield has been good.
“Julio and Malaury Martin fall into that category as well. He will have to be patient and train very hard, and he will have to wait for an opportunity.”