Middlesbrough succumbed to a fifth home defeat in their last six games yesterday evening, losing 3-1 to Bristol City at The Riverside.
The visitors went in at the break three goals up, Famara Diedhiou notching a brace before Nahki Wells added a third. Middlesbrough’s goal 10 minutes from time was a scant consolation with Dael Fry scoring his first for the club.
Boro boss Neil Warnock issued a stark warning to his strikers and admitted he needs more firepower up front in the next transfer window if the club are going to compete for promotion back to the Premier League.
“Diedhiou, (Ivan) Toney and (Colin) Kazim-Richards all caused us problems,” said Warnock after the loss.
“Give me one of them three please. If we had one of those three we win the game tonight.
“It shows you what we need for next season though, whatever happens.
“We can’t go with what we’ve got. We’re not strong or good enough.”
At present Middlesbrough have Ashley Fletcher, Chuba Akpom and Britt Assombalonga at their disposal up front. Duncan Watmore and Yannick Bolasie have also been utilised in the centre forward position, however, both are more comfortable playing out wide.
Summer signing Watmore has been a success for Boro this season, scoring six goals in 16 games. But Warnock wasn’t impressed with him or his fellow attackers on Tuesday night.
“On Saturday I thought our front three were very good [Watmore, Fletcher and Neeskens Kebano] but I thought they were a waste of time in the first half tonight, the front three.”
The Middlesbrough manager’s candid comments shouldn’t come as a surprise. The club are one of the lowest scorers in the top half of the division, scoring 37 goals in 32 games, only Millwall and Boro’s midweek visitors Bristol City have scored less.
Middlesbrough will need to rectify their wretched home form as soon as possible if they stand a chance of making the top six this season. They take on an in-form Cardiff City side who have won their last five games this weekend.