Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Potters Boss Says Karanka Must Change

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Potters Boss Says Karanka Must Change

Article excerpt

Byline: DOMINIC SHAW dominic.shaw@trinitymirror.com @DOMSHAWGAZETTE

MARK Hughes believes Aitor Karanka may have to change his approach in the coming weeks in search of the points that will keep Boro in the league.

The Stoke boss is in no doubt about how he expects the opposition to setup against his side at the bet365 Stadium this afternoon, admitting Boro are "solid and organised" and "can frustrate you".

But Sparky wonders whether that alone will be enough for Boro in the dozen games that will determine the league they're playing in next season.

"I think they set up to be nice and solid and protect what they've got initially, but then clearly they've still got talent within the group that enables them to counter quickly," he said in his pre-match press conference.

"They work from a solid base and a defensive base that keeps them in games. When they create chances - which they usually do - if they take them they have the opportunity to win games.

"That seems to be the philosophy that they have and I'd imagine that philosophy will change from now until the end of the season. Maybe it has to and they have to be a bit more expansive to win games rather than draw them, but we'll see if that changes."

While Hughes is well aware of how difficult Boro make it for sides to break them down, he's also conscious of the fact Karanka possesses players who can cause problems at the other end of the pitch.

"They are very solid, they don't give away too many opportunities or goals and if they get beat, it's usually by the odd goal," he said.

"They can frustrate you. They get themselves organised and get bodies behind the ball, but they've still got good threats on the break, a little bit of pace and a good presence from Negredo.

"As with all Premier League teams, every side has got game-changers or players that can hurt you or turn the game against you. …

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