Date: 15th March 2013 at 8:12pm
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Middlesbrough are still within three points of the play-offs despite their recent bad run as they entertain Birmingham City at the Riverside this weekend.

Both Faris Haroun and Josh McEachran were expected be available for selection after missing the recent defeat at Bristol City through illness. But late checks must be made regarding George Friend, Andre Bikey, Grant Leadbitter and Sammy Ameobi (all hamstring), while Lukas Jutkiewicz (ankle), Justin Hoyte (hip), Stuart Parnaby (hamstring) and Julio Arca (toe) remain sidelined.

“We have some crucially important games against teams around us, all big games and all to play for,” manager Tony Mowbray told Boro’s official website. “We beat top of the table Cardiff at home and so we should fear nothing about playing the teams around us – we should be looking forward those challenges.

“We must have a very strong mentality and believe we’re going to win games from now until the end of the season, beat those teams around us, make the play-offs ourselves and ultimately win them,” he added. “We have shown we can compete very strongly, we just have to be consistent.”

Birmingham boss Lee Clark is busily assessing the relative merits of Wes Thomas, Nathan Redmond and Ravel Morrison after all three played leading roles after coming off the bench last week during the 3-1 victory against Derby County.

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