DARREN RANDOLPH should complete a move back to West Ham United within the next couple of days, as Jonathan Woodgate looks to keep strengthening his Middlesbrough ranks.

While the Hammers are understood to be close to reaching an agreement over how a near fee in the region of £5m will be structured for Randolph, the youthful Boro camp is still buzzing following the arrivals of Manchester City pair Patrick Roberts and Lukas Nmecha.

The attacking duo both made their first appearances for Middlesbrough in Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham, which has teed up an intriguing first visit to Spurs’ new stadium in the FA Cup third round replay next week.

Roberts and Nmecha can play in different roles in the final third so have immediately provided competition for Ashley Fletcher in the Middlesbrough attack.

Fletcher marked the signings with his fourth goal in five games against Tottenham, to take his season’s tally to eight, and he is loving his new lease of life at the Riverside where he has had a difficult couple of years since joining from West Ham in a £6m deal.

But he does not see the acquisitions of Roberts and Nmecha as reasons to be feeling negative and downbeat.

“I played against Lukas throughout the years at Man City,” said Fletcher. “I played against him at Manchester United and he was on loan at Preston. He’s played a lot of games. All competition is fantastic. It will push me and it will push Lukas.

“Patrick Roberts is someone who will get on the ball and slide the passes through, we’ve probably been missing that a bit. If we can get them firing ...

“They’ve only been here two days but they’ve been fantastic. I’m really excited to be working with them, hopefully they can bring that bit of quality we need to look-up into the play-offs.”

Middlesbrough head into this Saturday’s visit of Derby County, who have just welcomed Wayne Rooney into their squad, still looking at possible new recruits.

They have also considered Tottenham winger Jack Clarke, while Woodgate is known to be a huge fan of striker Eddie Nkeitiah who has just returned to Arsenal. Both have had loans at Leeds this season already.

Middlesbrough are looking to move Marcus Browne and Marc Bola out on loan this week, but Fletcher will not be concerned about transfer dealings because of how he is feeling right now.

“How I feel is reminiscent of my time at Barnsley but obviously this a higher level here. I’m showing what I can do and I want to kick on now,” said Fletcher.

“I wouldn’t say it was fear when things weren’t going as well, but you start overthinking things.

Fletcher continued: "A few weeks ago when I got that chance against Huddersfield, if I had got this Spurs chance the week after I’d have had thoughts running through my head: what happens if I miss.  “As soon as you score goals like I have been doing, you have confidence and you don't have to think. It's instinctive. I just want that consistency now. Playing against Vertonghen, Alderweireld, Dier was a massive learning curve for me against Tottenham. I thought I did OK and held my own, to get the goal was fantastic.”

Middlesbrough will have Aynsley Pears back between the posts against Derby this weekend, but Tomas Mejias’ display against Spurs has provided plenty of hope as Randolph prepares to return to West Ham.

The 32-year-old was regarded to be the best goalkeeper outside the Premier League but he has carried an ankle injury in recent months. West Ham boss David Moyes wants him back there to challenge Lukasz Fabianski for the No 1 shirt ahead of Roberto and David Martin.

Middlesbrough have not confirmed a fee has been agreed for Randolph, but it has been suggested the two clubs are close to reaching an agreement over a deal that will take into account some payments still due to West Ham from the original transfer. He is believed to have headed to London to conclude negotiations.

Woodgate wants to just focus on keeping Middlesbrough heading in the right direction. One defeat in seven before the FA Cup test has lifted them ten points clear of the relegation zone and eight shy of the top six.  Fletcher said: “Confidence is a massive thing in football for the full team. You see the top teams suffer from a lack of confidence and they don't go out and get results.  “This has been coming for us, we've said that for a while. We said we can't let the talking happen in the changing room, it has to happen on the pitch.

“It's been tough on the training ground. The manager has been relentless with tactics. That's what it takes to get results against the big teams. Jose Mourinho is one of the best managers in history, to play our own game and get a replay is great for us.”

Fletcher's performances of late have made him the main man in attack, particularly with Britt Assombalonga sidelined through injury. Woodgate insists he wants to keep the latter this month and is looking forward to having him to call on again.

Assombalonga has always been Middlesbrough's main source of goals since his arrival from Nottingham Forest in a £15m deal deal in the summer of 2017, but now Fletcher has stepped up.

And Middlesbrough have not lost any of the eight games in which the 24-year-old has scored this season, so just wants it to continue - and he has told Woodgate he does not want a rest.  “It's just one of those things when you're a striker and on a roll, you feel so confident and feel like you can't miss," said Fletcher. "A few months ago it was very different, as we all know. I'm enjoying myself.  "I just want to keep playing and I'm telling the manager that I don't feel tired or fatigued, confidence is flowing through me.

“I think it's just working hard every day. Having the likes of Robbie Keane who's been there. Speaking to him every day is fantastic. I don't think there was a specific turning point, you just have to battle through the tough times."