Middlesbrough head coach Michael Carrick has provided updates on the injured striker duo of Josh Coburn and Emmanuel Latte Lath, in his pre-match press conference.
Middlesbrough take on 24th placed side Rotherham United on Saturday at the Riverside but will be without a number of first-team regulars yet again. Despite getting playing back to fitness in recent weeks, they are still likely to be without a handful.
Their main concern is who to play up front. Both Coburn and Latte Lath missed their game against Millwall last weekend, with Boro lining up without a recognised striker. New signing Finn Azaz partnered Morgan Rogers at the top end of the pitch and that may have to be the case yet again against the Millers.
Speaking to the press ahead of the clash this weekend, Carrick provided an update on Coburn and Latte Lath, stating that they are both set for spells on the sidelines, although one is significantly closer to a return than the other.
“Josh is closer. Hopefully Josh is closer, he’s improving and we’re hoping to have him around the group pretty soon. Manu, as you can imagine, is a little bit longer. We’re trying to get him back as soon as we can,” he said.
“We have to accept it. It’s not ideal. Injuries are part of it, we’ve been unfortunate with too many this season but we’ve dealt with it in a pretty good way to be where we are now in the competitions that we’re in.
“We’re trying to get the boys back. There’s no point in getting frustrated or angry or anything about it. It’s about getting the best out of the boys that we have available and having a strong finish.”
Should they sign a striker?
With two weeks left of the January transfer window, the priority looks clear. They have two senior centre-forwards on their books and both are currently unavailable. Therefore, a move for a striker, possibly on a short-term deal or loan would be ideal.
They do have youngster Calum Kavanagh who could fill in, but there would be a huge weight of responsibility on his shoulders. The likes of Morgan Rogers, Matt Crooks, Sammy Silvera and Marcus Forss have all played their previously and may have enough to get by until Coburn and Latte Lath return.
Forss seems the likeliest the deputise in a striker role. He has been used out wide on the right when fit, but Isaiah Jones has made that position his own this season after finding his form once again. The Finland international has only just returned from injury himself and so will need to be eased in over the coming weeks no doubt.