MIDDLESBROUGH defender Dael Fry has been nicknamed as the Teesside Lighthouse and can be his hometown’s beacon of light this weekend. He has already been part of one promotion party at the club and is determined to do it again in a dressing room that has ‘unbelievable togetherness’.

Back in 2015, Fry broke into the Boro first-team by starting the opening game of the season as a 17-year-old. The irony of his debut was that it was against Preston North End at Deepdale, who they face this weekend at the same venue for a place in the play-offs on the final day.

Fry featured eight times for Boro during their promotion campaign under Aitor Karanka and his stature and presence in the side has continue to grow over the years. He has become one of the leading central defenders at the club making 184 appearances.

Many pundits predict that Fry will go on to have a successful career at the top of the game. He’s already attracted Premier League interest over the years and has been the subject of a bid from Burnley while other clubs have monitored his situation.

That poses a question of whether his time at the top will come with Middlesbrough or elsewhere.

Nevertheless, Boro are in the hunt for a top six spot with the Lilywhites standing between them and a play-off spot. Alongside, favours from elsewhere.

There was pressure on last week’s 3-1 win against Stoke City after anything less than a win would have mathematically ended their chances. Fry told BBC Radio Tees Sport: ““We put the pressure on a bit.

“It’s a shame we conceded that last goal but we’ve got to go to Preston and win, maybe by two goals, so hopefully it goes our way and we can get in the play-offs. I didn’t really feel any nerves and I don’t think the lads did. We knew what we were capable of.

“We’ve got Isaiah Jones on the right who’s been fantastic. We’ve got talented players all over the pitch. We had to run ourselves into the ground and that’s what we did.

“Shame we conceded that last goal and everyone is a bit down after that but we’ve got to go up to Preston and put on a performance and win.”

Luton Town and Sheffield United are the two catchable teams above them in the table with the Hatters going up against Reading and the Blades hosting recently crowned champions Fulham. Millwall sit three points outside the top six and have an outside chance as well as they take on recently promoted Bournemouth. It all makes for an exciting day for the neutral.

The game will be tinged with nerves and pressure for Boro and the teams involved but Fry believes that luck can be on their side if they are singing from the same hymn sheet in Lancashire.

The tall defender continued: “I think we have found a bit more consistency since the gaffer has come in. Everyone has bought into it, everyone has been fantastic. The togetherness in the dressing room has been unbelievable and there is no reason why we can’t do it.”