Middlesbrough boss criticises strikers after dismal season in front of goal
Speaking to The Northern Echo after Middlesbrough succumbed to a 3-0 home defeat to Wycombe Wanderers, manager Neil Warnock had a few choice words for his strikers.
Middlesbrough scored 55 goals in 46 games across the campaign, putting them as the third lowest scorers in the top half of the division. Their top scorer this season was Duncan Watmore who scored nine.
Prior to the season getting underway, Middlesbrough had Britt Assombalonga and Ashley Fletcher at their disposal. Warnock brought in both Watmore and Chuba Akpom from Sunderland and PAOK respectively.
However, Watmore aside, Boro’s forwards failed to impress Warnock. Talking to the press after the defeat, he said that finishing 10th was an big positive, considering ‘not really having a striker’.
“We were poor today,” he said candidly.
“But overall, to finish tenth after where we were when we came in, I think it’s been a fabulous achievement.
“I don’t think I’m being disrespectful to the lads that have been here, but we’ve finished tenth without really having a striker this season.”
He went on to mention both Assombalonga and Fletcher, claiming that they won’t be particularly happy with how things have played out. Both players were allowed to leave their contracts early ahead of the summer and are now looking for a club having become free agents. Warnock also singled out Watmore for praise.
“In any league, it’s extremely hard to finish high without a striker,” he said.
“I think Britt and Ash would have been disappointed with the outcome. I’m talking about ten goals a season minimum, and I think there’s only really Duncan that’s come up trumps for us.”
It is believed Middlesbrough are prioritising a new striker or two in the up and coming transfer window. In recent months they have been linked to the likes of Bristol City target man Famara Diedhiou, with the club reportedly having entered talks already.
There have also been rumours suggesting they are interested in Sunderland’s Charlie Wyke, Sheffield Wednesday’s Josh Windass, Manchester City youngster Liam Delap and Joshua Kayode of Rotherham United.