Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Any Goal Will Be Spur for McClaren

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Any Goal Will Be Spur for McClaren

Article excerpt

Byline: By Jack Pickering

Boro manager Steve McClaren will take the good, the bad or even the ugly against Tottenham tonight as the Teessiders strive for the goal which could guarantee a Carling Cup semi-final.

It is now an incredible nine hours since any Middlesbrough player scored and none of the club's strikers have hit the target in open play since October 29.

But McClaren's men face a Spurs side still reeling after a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Newcastle and the former England coach is confident of a welcome change in fortune.

"You look at some of the goals you saw at the weekend and you see Michael Duberry's for Leeds, which he didn't know much about, and you think `can we just have one of those, please?', just to start the ball rolling again," he said.

"I do believe that's all we need but nobody is satisfied. We're all frustrated at the performances we've had over the last three or four games.

"They've not been to the standard which we expect, as they have been the rest of the season, and that's a frustration that you can see in the players, you can see in the fans.

"But, while we're not playing well, we've got to work through this, we've got to keep doing the right things and eventually, it will turn.

"In the meantime, we're still picking up points and still getting through in cup games."

Boro have scored only once in their last five games, and that was a Sun Jihai own goal at Manchester City. Indeed, the Teessiders have drawn blanks in their last four at the Riverside Stadium and the pressure is mounting ahead of tonight's league cup quarter-final at White Hart Lane.

McClaren has invested more than pounds 12m in strikers during the last 18 months and has struggled to identify a partnership capable of fulfilling the club's obvious potential.

However, the club have lost just two of their last 14 games in all competitions and conceded a miserly four goals, including a run of seven successive clean sheets. …

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