Middlesbrough's Friend hopes to be Sunderland's enemy again

Manchester United's James Wilson in action with Middlesbrough's George Friend

The defender was part of Boro's League Cup win over Sunderland four years ago, and is eyeing another successful trip to Wearside.

Middlesbrough celebrate with the trophy after being promoted to the Barclays Premier LeagueMiddlesbrough celebrate with the trophy after being promoted to the Premier League

Middlesbrough captain George Friend has told the club's official website he is hopeful his side can repeat their 2012 League Cup heroics and record another win over local rivals Sunderland.

The two teams resume their Wear-Tees rivalry next season following Boro's successful promotion bid last term, with the fixture set to take on extra significance in the absence of fellow north-east club Newcastle United.

Manchester United's James Wilson in action with Middlesbrough's George FriendManchester United's James Wilson in action with Middlesbrough's George Friend

The newly-promoted Teessiders will travel up to the Stadium of Light on August 20th, revisiting the scene of their impressive cup win four years ago, which saw Scott McDonald's solitary goal send the Black Cats out of the competition.

And Friend, who played in that game, has warned Sam Allardyce's men that his team are aiming to leave Wearside with a win once again, adding that the squad will be "fresh” and ready to go.

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka poses for a selfie with a fan as he celebrates promotion to the premier leagueMiddlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka poses for a selfie with a fan as he celebrates promotion to the premier league

The 28-year-old, who arrived at the Riverside in July 2012 following a move from Doncaster Rovers, said: “It’s a big one [the game]. Normally you see them [Sunderland] over the festive period, but actually I think it’s quite good to get straight stuck into a game like that.

“We’ll all be fresh from the start of the season so I’m very excited for that.

Sunderland manager Sam AllardyceSunderland manager Sam Allardyce will hope his side can earn the early bragging rights next season

“The last time I played Sunderland was when we beat them in the cup at the Stadium of Light and that was a few years ago. It would definitely be great to replicate that.”

Boro's return to the Premier League after a seven-year absence has a potentially tough end, with the fixture list handing Aitor Karanka's men contests with Arsenal, Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool during their last six games.

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