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By ESPN Staff

Boro step-up hunt for Man City's Samaras

Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate is hoping to increase his striking options after admitting he is eyeing a move for Manchester City striker Georgios Samaras.

Fabio Rochemback and South Korean Dong Gook Lee grabbed the goals that saw off a valiant Northampton in the Carling Cup win over Northampton.

And afterwards Southgate's assistant Malcolm Crosby confirmed Boro were interested in the unsettled Samaras, who reportedly wants to stay in the Premier League.

'He's a player we've spoken about. We've shown an interest in him and we'll continue to do that,' said Crosby, who added that no new deals were necessary imminent.

'At the minute we are not really close to signing anyone. There are one or two players were interested in but it's looking like we might run out of time.'

Boro ought at least to be able to rely on a rejuvenated Lee, who netted Stewart Downing's cross with aplomb in the 66th minute to effectively seal the win against the brave League One side.

Crosby added: 'His goal is a long time coming and he deserves it. Hopefully it will give him a big lift. He has been looking very good in training recently.'

Fabio Rochemback had set Boro on their way to victory with a superb 53rd minute free-kick from 35 yards, but it might have been a different story if Northampton had taken their chances.

Ian Henderson sent a diving header against the post in the ninth minute then 17-year-old debutant Alex Dyer broke into the box but shot straight at keeper Brad Jones.

It was not until Rochemback's strike that the frustration finally eased in the Riverside Stadium stands, and substitute Mido could easily have added a brace late on.

Northampton boss Stuart Gray said: 'It's the story of our season so far and I was disappointed not to go in at half-time 1-0 up because you need something to defend when you come to a place like this.

'The difference is that my striker came on a free and Mido was £6million but that is why you pay all that vast amount of money for them. We just needed that bit of calmness.'