WITH less than two weeks remaining of the transfer window, Tony Pulis has stressed that the next fortnight will go a long way in determining how strongly Middlesbrough finish this season.

Boro have started 2019 impressively by picking up four points from away tests at promotion contenders Derby County and Birmingham City, as well as cruising through a FA Cup third round tie with Peterborough United.

The Championship results have given them fresh impetus ahead of this afternoon’s visit of Millwall to the Riverside, even though Boro have not made the level of transfer progress they would have liked so far this month.

Pulis has made no secret of his wish to boost his squad and so far he has only added Huddersfield’s Rajiv van la Parra this month.

He would still like to have another winger, striker and a full-back on board before the end of the month as he looks to keep Boro in the promotion shake-up. The top two remains the target.

Pulis said: “We have had a good run of results but everything will be dictated over next couple of weeks, if we can bring a couple in we will push on.

“It is a tough league and will be competitive until the end. The next two weeks will be big for the club.

“It’s on what we can get, we have to identify the players we want. We have done that, whether we can get them is another issue.

The Northern Echo:

“We are a in a good position, the next two weeks will be important in respect of what goes in and what goes out.

“Nothing has pushed on at all, which is disappointing a little bit but there we are with two weeks to go.”

Pulis was frustrated in each of the last two windows when he had hoped for more, only to be left short in areas because of what players and other clubs had demanded.

He added: “We have two weeks to go and we will see what happens. We will be talking about what we have and what we haven’t done, I hope.

“We have targets and we will try to get them in if we can. I don’t like talking about individual targets at clubs, it’s important you keep it between the two clubs. I believe in respect between clubs.”

Middlesbrough will at least have a couple of players available again soon. Summer recruit Aden Flint and full-back Ryan Shotton have put themselves back into Pulis’ plans for today’s Championship date with Millwall.

Flint has not played since damaging a hamstring on New Year’s Day while right-back Shotton suffered a recurrence of a knee problem before Christmas and has been working his way back to fitness.

The pair have been making promising strides ahead of a comeback, though, and Pulis has revealed he could hand the defenders a place against Millwall if he felt it was absolutely necessary.

Pulis said: “Flint and Shotts came in and trained for the first time on Thursday, whether they will be fit we will have to see.

“Flinty just wants to play because he is an old fashioned players who just wants to play. We have to be more careful with Shotts because it’s manufactured, his knee.

“But it gives us that strength in depth that you need at this level, fingers crossed that will be the back of all our injuries between now and the end of the season.”

Middlesbrough did bring in a number of players in the summer even though they were still left short in a few areas, and one of those was former Millwall midfielder George Saville.

The Lions lost last weekend to Tony Mowbray’s Blackburn but before that they had given their survival hopes a boost by winning four in a row.

He said: “Millwall are Millwall, they have a very good manager and assistant, steeped in tradition at Millwall. They are the right people to manage Millwall.

“The chairman has been very good for them. It is a surprise for them that they haven’t done as well as they can do this season, there’s a long way for them to improve. It would be no surprise to me if they go through the second half better.”