TONY PULIS has two main goals to achieve before the summer – on and off the pitch as Middlesbrough manager.

The Boro boss is driving his team towards promotion in his bid to help chairman Steve Gibson bring Premier League football back to the Riverside at the first attempt.

And while he continues to push for that he has also revealed an incredible target that could be even tougher to navigate after the season has ended.

Pulis was back in Staffordshire this week to launch his latest fundraising effort to provide nursing care to children at The Donna Louise centre in Stoke.

The 60-year-old – who has previously climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, gone from Land’s End to John O’Groats and rowed for 500 miles over seven days for the charity – will be hitting the water again at the end of May.

Pulis will take part in the Tower to Tower 2018. It is a unique and gruelling challenge starting in the shadow of The Eiffel Tower in Paris and ending, 560km and four days later, at the iconic Tower Bridge in London.

The team of 12, also including former Sunderland defender Rory Delap, will travel by bikes, by boats and on foot in three stages covering road, sea and country lane. Over the long days, Team Tower to Tower is expected to face severe fatigue, sleep deprivation, sea sickness, blisters, aching muscles and mental fatigue.

By pushing themselves to the limit, the team aims to raise awareness of the crippling sleep deprivation faced by many families as they care for a child with a life-limiting condition, and to raise £100,000 to help them get the vital respite care they need.

Many children and young people require round-the-clock care and sleep is an infrequent luxury for the parents and carers who look after them.

Pulis, whose side face Barnsley at the Riverside on Saturday, is trying to put the miles in already in preparation and has been regularly hitting the roads and tracks in County Durham and beyond.

He said: “I need to get out more to be honest because the weather hasn’t been very good. I have been going to the gym. I have spoken to the doc at the club, he has told me a few cycling routes to try. I will do that a few times a week.

“There’s no comparison to getting in that little boat though and rowing through six foot waves, trying to get ten minutes sleep on it.

“I have been told the walking part of the Tower to Tower will be the most difficult, but I think the rowing could be. It was the hardest out of everything I have done so far. You get to an age where I will get too old to do it, so I am determined to do it.

“I have been walking down the River Tees near the training ground, around Hurworth.

“The staff go mad with me because I pick a member of staff to go walking with me. I pick on Jonathan Gould (goalkeeper coach) more than anyone else. He hates the walking. It has been taking us a lot longer because of the snow!

“I have tried to do a lot, I have been up early to do an hour and a half in the gym then I tend to go walking. Instead of walking I will do cycling when the weather improves. And as well as all of those I will be doing my damndest to get this blinking team in the play-offs.”

Middlesbrough climbed into the play-off places on Tuesday when they won 1-0 at Birmingham City. It is a decade on since Pulis led Stoke City to the Premier League after a 23-year exile from the top-flight.

As he plots a way to get Middlesbrough up, Pulis knows it is his three former teams – West Brom, Stoke and Crystal Palace – who occupy the relegation places in the top tier.

He said: “I’ve just been talking with Rory Delap (the former Sunderland man who is also doing to the Tower to Tower) about the Stoke team that won promotion and more than anything the spirit in that squad was fantastic.

“We didn’t have a bad lad in the dressing room. They worked together, played together and really deserved promotion.

“I’ll be concentrating on getting Middlesbrough in the play-offs over the next few weeks, I’ve got enough on my mind without worrying too much about anyone else.

“But of course the clubs that you work at and the clubs that you’ve been with, you always leave behind friends. You have good times and you wish them the best.”