MIDDLESBROUGH have the luxury of a fully-fit squad to choose from for this afternoon’s game at Deepdale as Chris Wilder warned that Preston North End won’t be there to make up the numbers.

Paddy McNair has overcome a recent bout of illness to be available and Boro have no new fitness concerns ahead of the game.

The Lilywhites are comfortably safe this season, while Boro are looking to climb into the Championship play-offs. But Wilder rubbished the suggestion that Preston don’t have anything to play for.

“What a load of rubbish” he said.

“I’ve sat in here for three months and answered the same question every other week about people not having anything to play for and this that and the other.

“I’ve come out with a consistent statement. It’s that they are professional footballers, they got to that position by being professional and wanting to win. I’ll leave it at that.”

Instead, the Boro boss has been quick to warn his players of the dangers they face when they go in search of a win that will hopefully life them into the top six.

Wilder continued: “I think when you look at their squad, and we played them in my second game, there were no kids in there. There might be a couple of boys now who Ryan (Lowe) wants to throw into the squad.

“Possibly, I would have done if I was in the same situation as him - give some young boys a taste of the game and the atmosphere at first-team level, playing at home in front of a decent crowd on a big occasion.

“But you look at their group and it has plenty of experience, they’ve brought in some good loan players like (Sepp) van den Berg from Liverpool and (Cameron) Archer has been good. Then throughout their squad they’ve got some really established Championship players that have not really struggled at this level and in the past three or four years have flirted with the play-offs.

“They’re not a hugely invested team but are smart with their recruitment to bring in good players and get good loan players. They’ve got a good group with plenty of competition for places with battle-hardened Championship players. There is a lot of quality and good depth there.”