Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Flying High in the about Boro's Lack of Goals Scored? Flying High in the Table. but What about Boro's Lack of Goals Scored? the Insider

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Flying High in the about Boro's Lack of Goals Scored? Flying High in the Table. but What about Boro's Lack of Goals Scored? the Insider

Article excerpt

Byline: with Philip Tallentire

BORO are in the automatic promotion places with almost two thirds of the season completed.

Yet the hot topic this week has been the team's lack of goals and how that could scupper the club's promotion prospects.

Fans are the same the world over, even when things are going well we tend to look on the dark-dark side.

But is it realistic to criticise Boro's relative lack of goals? e counter-argument is the fact that Aitor Karanka's team boast the tightest defence in the division.

Boro have conceded just 22 goals, which is a remarkable gure and the reason why they are ying so high.

In almost all of the important Championship rankings, Boro are holding their own.

e club's goal di'erence (plus 28) is the third best in the division behind leaders Derby (plus 33) and Bournemouth (plus 30), who are fourth.

ey have won 18 games so far with Derby the only side to have won more (19) and nobody has recorded fewer defeats than Boro's six.

Number of goals scored is the only table where the club are outside the top six.

Boro's gure of 50 leaves them eighth overall, 17 less than top scorers Bournemouth. Does this matter? Would it be better if Boro score more goals? Well, clearly, goals are great and a more prolic strikerate would be welcome.

But, it wouldn't be welcome if it came at the expense of Boro's outstanding defensive record.

We just have to accept that Karanka's philosophy is similar to Jose Mourinho's in that he builds a team from back to front.

e idea is to keep a clean sheet and score at least once and it seems to be working.

So far, Boro have kept 15 cleans sheets and that's a ratio of almost 50%, which is fantastic.

Of those 15, Boro won all but four, so the strategy works.

Since the summer transfer window closed, by which time Karanka had completed the overhaul of his squad, the club have failed to score in six games but only lost two of those, so a tight defence yielded four points that could prove critical. …

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