Dean Whitehead will come face to face with his big mate Adam Clayton urging Huddersfield Town to believe in themselves as they try to stop Middlesbrough’s Championship promotion push.
The midfielder moved to the John Smith’s Stadium club during the close-season having featured alongside ex-Town player Clayton in Boro’s failed play-off bid last May.
This time Aitor Karanka’s Teessiders are desperate to make the automatic berths.
They are back in the top two after winning 3-2 at QPR on Friday, and the Tuesday-night clash is the first of three straight games at the Riverside Stadium, where Town have never won.
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Clayton, who left Town for Boro in a £1.5m deal in August 2014, has urged Boro, three points off leaders Burnley and one above third-placed Brighton and Hove Albion with games in hand on both, to make the most of that home advantage.
“Our target will be nine points from the next three home games,” said Clayton, 27, whose side host Preston North End on Saturday and Reading the Tuesday after.
“In fact our target is to win our next eight games. That is what we will set out to do.If we can’t do that then our target is to win seven and draw one. We want the maximum points we can possibly get.”
Town slipped to 18th, but are still eight points above the drop zone, after Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat by Sheffield Wednesday.
After Boro, they host fourth-placed Hull City on Saturday.
Whitehead, 34, who had two years at Boro and is making his first return there, said: “We knew Wednesday were a strong side.
“But we more than matched them for the majority of the game. We only made one mistake and that’s what cost us. “We’ve more than matched a top-six side and we’ll try to do that again in the games we have coming up.”