AFTER a quiet end to the transfer window, Middlesbrough’s attentions are fully directed to a huge night in the FA Cup on Friday as Chris Wilder takes his in-form side to Old Trafford.

Boro are dreaming of a cup upset against Ralf Ragnick’s side backed to the tilt by a travelling support of over 9,000 fans. Wilder will no doubt use a full strength team at the Theatre of Dreams with a spot in the fifth round of the FA Cup in his sights.

While the Untied fanbase are far from convinced in their interim manager’s abilities after a few lacklustre performances, the reality is he’s only lost one of his 13 games so far.

But Boro are in a similar vein of form with Wilder only losing two of his 12 games so far in charge of the club in a run that’s seen them climb into the Championship play-offs.

Last time Boro visited Old Trafford in a cup competition, they ran out winners on penalties after a 0-0 draw over 120 minutes as a 10,000 away crowd celebrated long into the night.

As for the players, they need little motivation going into the game by the sounds of it.

Defender Dael Fry and goalkeeper Joe Lumley are highly likely to be involved in Manchester and are both looking forward to stepping up against some of the best players in the world. Boro’s defender has one humorous way of introducing himself to one of the greatest players of all time as he’s tasked with keeping him quiet.

Fry said: “I am looking forward to going to Old Trafford and playing against probably one of the best to ever play the game in (Cristiano) Ronaldo. I’ve thought about it quite a lot, to be honest.

He joked: “I’ve thought about just kind of being stood near him and going, ‘Alright mate’, and see what he says.

“But even just to be stood that close to him will be crazy, but hopefully we can do a job on him as well.”

As for Lumley, Boro’s current number one is enjoying a run of form in the team. So far this season in the Championship, he’s kept ten clean sheets which put him third in the standings in the division.

Many of the great goalkeepers to have played the game will stand Lumley is likely to be on Friday night. To little surprise, he’s watched and admired from afar.

"Of course I've thought about it” said Lumley.

"Since I've been young I've watched the big goalkeepers. (Peter) Schmeichel was the really big one, but that was when I was really young.

"Van Der Sar was the keeper that I used to look up to – (Edwin) Van Der Sar and Shay Given. They were the two I really admired and one was a United goalie.

"It would be great to play. Obviously that's down to the manager's decision but if I do, I'm sure it will be a brilliant experience and I can't wait for it."

Meanwhile, midfielder Riley McGree will miss the FA Cup trip to Old Trafford after testing positive for Covid-19 whilst on international duty with Australia.

The 23-year-old will now serve a period of isolation in Oman away from the squad. It’s unlikely he will return in time for Boro’s trip to Queens Park Rangers next Wednesday.