Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Boro's Main Goal Must Be to Improve Cutting Edge

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Boro's Main Goal Must Be to Improve Cutting Edge

Article excerpt

IF Middlesbrough do not improve their goals-per-chances-ratio next season, it won't matter who is in charge of the team.

One thing above all others which Middlesbrough must acquire in this summer of change is a cutting edge.

The frustrating home defeats at the hands of Preston and Bristol City alone perfectly illustrated where Boro have fallen short this season - and why they failed to reach the playoffs.

Eric Paylor Boro must be more clinical in front of goal next season if they want to resurrect their challenge for a top six place.

Ironically they may yet have to find this fresh cutting edge without 16-goal top scorer Britt Assombalonga, but hopefully not.

Paylor's views Before anything happens, we must wait to see whether Tony Pulis has reached the end of the road or will soldier on.

Pulis says that, bearing in mind the available personnel, Boro have performed better than last season.

That's not true of course.

Boro have under-performed and completely failed to meet the fans' expectations.

In his favour, Pulis did twice call for new attackers to be brought in, while he gave the team a level of freedom towards the end of the campaign which they had not previously enjoyed.

However the stats indicate that Boro took a step backwards last season when most people, the bookies included, had believed the club could be top two material.

As ever, the fact that Boro could not improve on the previous campaign points the finger at the manager.

After all, the buck always stops at the top.

Yet Boro may still feel it necessary to call upon Pulis's expertise next season because it's possible the club has reached a crossroads.

The loss of parachute money, a potential reduction in the fanbase and the subsequent loss of supporting revenue leaves Boro needing to come up with the right answers to the crucial questions. …

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