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PICTURES: Middlesbrough players make festive visit to children in hospital

Players from Middlesbrough Football Club spread a little festive cheer today as they visited patients on the children's ward at the James Cook University Hospital.

Manager Aitor Karanka and members of the squad came bearing gifts for sick children who may have to spend Christmas on the ward.

Aitor Karanka brought came with some of his squad to the James Cook Hospital Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees News
Daniel Alaya (left) and Abella Damia (right) hand Christmas gifts to a sick baby Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees News
Abella Damia (left) was there to support children of all ages Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees News
Squad members pose for a photo with an excited mother and child Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees News
A young Boro fan is delighted with his early Christmas present Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees News

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Boro win takes them to the top of the table

David Nugent celebrates Boro's second goal Credit: Adam Davy/EMPICS Sport

Middlesbrough's 2 - 0 win against Ipswich tonight takes them to the top of the Championship table - for now at least.

Boro didn't really get going until the second half, but Christian Stuani got them off the mark with a header from the six yard box just after half time.

David Nugent followed with a second goal in the 73rd minute.

Aitor Karanka's men will hope to make it four Championship wins in a row when they meet Birmingham next Saturday.

Karanka hopes for Neville success at Valencia

Former England and Manchester United defender Gary Neville has all the tools required to be successful in La Liga, according to Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka.

The England coach has been appointed as the new Head Coach at Valencia until the end of the current season. The 40-year-old joins his younger brother Phil Neville at the club and will officially begin his role at the Mestalla Stadium on Sunday.

Managers across the football world have given messages of support for Neville, including Boro's Spanish Head Coach Aitor Karanka.

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Middlesbrough practiced penalties for cup match

Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka says the team have been practicing penalties in training ahead of their Capital One Cup Quarter-Final match with Everton.

Boro won 3-1 in a penalty shootout at Old Trafford in the previous round to earn a famous win over Manchester United.

The Head Coach confirmed his team have been practicing spot kicks in training in case tonight's match at the Riverside goes to another penalty shootout.

Former Newcastle United boss in hospital

TV pundit Graeme Souness Credit: Mike Egerton/EMPICS Sport

Former Newcastle United manager Graeme Souness has been taken into hospital, according to reports.

The 62-year-old, who managed the Magpies from 2004 to 2006, is receiving treatment in a hospital in Bournemouth, close to his home in Poole, Dorset, according to Press Association Sport.

No details of Souness' condition were immediately available, although reports suggest the Scot had to be carried into the hospital on a stretcher.

The former Liverpool and Middlesbrough midfielder won 54 caps for Scotland during a playing career which also saw him win five English league titles and three European Cups and a Coppa Italia title with Sampdoria.

Since leaving Newcastle in 2006 he has worked as a media pundit for Sky Sports and Irish broadcaster RTE.

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