STEVE AGNEW has made an immediate impact by recalling Stewart Downing, Gaston Ramirez and Alvaro Negredo for Middlesbrough's home game with Manchester United.

Agnew has received the backing of chairman Steve Gibson, who stated in an interview with BT Sport that he hoped the interim boss would "be here this time next year or the year after."

And Agnew is clearly determined to be his own man as he looks to succeed Aitor Karanka on a permanent basis.

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Downing returns after his much-publicised clash with Karanka that hastened the Spaniard's dramatic departure from his post on Thursday.

Ramirez and Negredo are also back in the starting line-up after missing out in a number of Karanka's latter games as head coach.

Victor Valdes returns after sitting out the FA Cup defeat to Manchester City, but there is no place for Adam Forshaw, with Adam Clayton, Grant Leadbitter and Marten de Roon selected at the heart of midfield.

Manchester United are missing a host of big names, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Wayne Rooney and Anthony Martial all unavailable.

Jose Mourinho has selected Marcus Rashford as a lone striker, with Juan Mata expected to play in the 'number ten' role.

MIDDLESBROUGH (4-3-3): Valdes; Barragan, Bernardo, Gibson, Fabio; Clayton, Leadbitter, de Roon; Ramirez, Negredo, Downing.

Subs: Guzan (gk), Fry, Forshaw, Guedioura,Traore, Stuani, Gestede.

MAN UNITED (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Bailly; Carrick, Fellaini; Lingard, Mata, Young; Rashford.

Subs: Romero (gk), Rojo, Shaw, Darmian, Fosu-Mensah, Mkhitaryan, Martial.