Acting boss David suggested the euphoria of Boro's Carling Cup triumph would have been 'temporarily deflated' by that loss, but with a capacity crowd expected at the Riverside, he expects a tough challenge.
He said: "I'm sure they'll be up for it because they would have been temporarily deflated by losing a game at Birmingham City, that will make them more aware of the need for league points.
"I'm sure Steve McClaren, Bill Beswick and Steve Harrison will have them in a positive mood and that there will be a full stadium to welcome them.
"Every away game is hard but I'd love to think we can go there and be good enough to win it.
"We've won two of our last three away but can we win at Middlesbrough? That's the test we face and the test we've got to come up with the answers for."
David Pleat expects Middlesbrough to be right up for Tuesday's Premiership clash after losing at Birmingham earlier this week.