Old pals' act will benefit Boro

STRIKER Lee Miller reckons the old pals' act will help a new-look Middlesbrough quickly gel.

Elvin King

STRIKER Lee Miller reckons the old pals' act will help a new-look Middlesbrough quickly gel.

Gordon Strachan's side travel to Portman Road to play the Blues in a Championship fixture (kick-off 3pm) tomorrow with Miller set to start up front after his recent move from Aberdeen.

Scott McDonald was recruited from Celtic also this week, and he is also in line for a start while Strachan has options in defence, where on-loan duo Kyle Naughton and Stephen McManus are expected to be on the team sheet.

Miller has settled in quickly and says that the dressing room is already together - despite the arrival of so many new faces.

Miller said: “I know quite a few of the lads already and it's the same for most of the other new players.

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“I know Barry Robson and Scott McDonald from their time at Celtic, I know Josh Walker because he was at Aberdeen for a while, and I know Leroy Lita.

“It helps quite a bit when you know a few of the players already.

“In fact I think it's good for all the players who have come in from up the road because everybody knows somebody and it will help us to settle in.”

Middlesbrough, who won their last away game 4-1 at Doncaster, have dropped down the table since they comprehensively beat Town 3-1 at the Riverside in September.

But with his new signings, Strachan is hoping to arrest the slide, and he said: “I've got selection decisions to make at both ends of the pitch, and I'm delighted about that.

“But we've run out of midfield players after a few have left us, including Adam Johnson.”

Julio Arca is set to come back, while there could be an opportunity for Jonathan Franks on the flank.

The likes of Rhys Williams, Chris Riggott, Emanuel Pogatetz and Jeremie Aliadiere are not ready to return, while Marvin Emnes has tonsillitis.

Former Ipswich loan target Johnson joined Manchester City in a �7million Monday move while Strachan paid �3million for McDonald.

The manager earlier this season brought in Barry Robson (suspended tomorrow), Willo Flood and Chris Killen from his former club Celtic.