Middlesbrough’s poor recent run of form has seen them fall completely out of contention for automatic promotion and now their play-off place is under threat as well.
Frustrations are mounting at the Riverside Stadium, and the club suffered another bitter disappointment when they let a lead slip against Preston North End last time out and ended up losing the game 2-1.
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The club must arrest this slide and get back to winning ways soon if they’re to stand any chance of securing promotion back to the Premier League this season. Manager Tony Pulis believes he has diagnosed the cause of his side’s recent struggles.
Speaking in his recent press conference, as quoted by the club’s official site, the former Stoke City boss said: “We’ve just got to be more clinical. Right up until the final third, we’ve been as good as anyone this year. Defensively we’ve been great this year, we’ve just got to improve in the final third.”
This is certainly true. Boro are well organised, generally tough to break down, and have solid foundations. However, they also lack cutting edge. None of their strikers have been clinical enough this season, with top-scorer Britt Assombalonga only having notched ten league strikes.
They’ll need far more firepower than that to make promotion a reality. Pulis must find a way to give his side something extra in the final third, and soon, otherwise this campaign will go down as a failure by the standards of a club of Boro’s stature.