Mido still part of Southgate's Teesside plans
Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate has assured striker Mido he remains part of his plans amid speculation over his future on Teesside.
Quotes attributed to the 25-year-old Egypt international last week suggested he was waiting for Wigan to approach Boro over a season-long loan deal and mulling over his options.
However, after seeing the £6million man come off the bench and score for the second successive week at Liverpool on Saturday following a midweek trip to Sudan with his country, Southgate was quick to praise him.
Mido is likely to start tonight's Carling Cup second-round clash with League One Yeovil, and has been promised significant involvement this season after an injury-ravaged first campaign at the Riverside Stadium.
Southgate said: 'Mido should start against Yeovil. He only returned on Friday.
'I have heard nothing from Wigan and I have told him he will get plenty of matches this season.
'He has come off the bench to score in both our first games of the season.
'He is part of things, he should realise that by the way he has got on so far.'
Mido is one of four senior strikers, along with record signing Afonso Alves, Tuncay Sanli and Jeremie Aliadiere, with summer signing Marvin Emnes also pushing for a place.
Southgate will make changes tonight to allow some members of his squad to get some much-needed football under their belts, and Mido will not be the only beneficiary.
Goalkeeper Ross Turnbull would have got his chance anyway had he not been drafted in as a late replacement for Brad Jones when the Australian dislocated a finger in the warm-up at Anfield.
Didier Digard and Emnes too will hope for starts, although with Southgate giving the Carling Cup a high priority, he will not reshuffle his side simply for the sake of it.
He said: 'We will have a strong side out against Yeovil, but you have to make sure that players who have been involved in the squad but not started games yet are given the opportunity to play.
'You cannot come into the first team at the drop of a hat, so you need to be ready and to do that you must play matches like the Carling Cup.
'Maybe we cannot win the Premier League, but we can win the Carling Cup. We have done it before, and we will be looking for a decent run in the competition.
'It is a competition that we can genuinely win. We have to believe that. It is a tournament we can go a long way in, and we have done that in the past.
'We need a good run in the Carling Cup. So much about cups is in the lap of the gods, but we have to maintain the form that we have shown already.'