Ben Gibson & Patrick Bamford deserve England call - Karanka
Middlesbrough head coach Aitor Karanka says Patrick Bamford and Ben Gibson have worked hard to earn their England under-21 call-ups.
Defender Gibson and forward Bamford, both 21, were named by former Boro boss Gareth Southgate in the squad for the Euro 2015 play-off against Croatia.
Gibson, who has five caps, came through the academy set-up while Bamford is on loan from Premier League side Chelsea.
"I'm very pleased with their call-ups," Karanka told BBC Tees.
"They are working very hard to improve because they are young, but they have everything they need for future success. Their feet are on the ground but they have quality."
Bamford, whose only U21 appearance came against San Marino in November 2013, has settled well since his arrival from Stamford Bridge, scoring two goals in seven including a strike against Liverpool in the League Cup.
And Karanka believes the England recognition will further boost the Grantham-born forward's confidence and reputation.
"It's important for his development," the Spaniard said.
"He's a quality player and when you receive this sort of praise it's good for a player."