Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock has issued a critical assessment of his side’s season so far in an interview with Teesside Live.

Middlesbrough have had a mixed start to the campaign, winning two, drawing three and losing three of their eight games. They have scored just nine goals and conceded 10 and sit in 16th position in the Championship table.

After securing 12 summer signings, supporters had hopes that Warnock could secure a record-extending ninth promotion of his managerial career, or at least make a push for the top six. That will still be the aim, but with the way the season has started, this is beginning to look increasingly unlikely.

Following their recent 2-1 defeat at home to Blackpool, the Boro boss was asked what he thinks has gone wrong so far.

“We haven’t got that ruthless streak I think you need at times. Whether we can get that, I don’t know,” he said.

“The players are good enough, the technical ability is as good as I’ve had within the team itself. But you just need a few more things to put in your cake to get the right recipe. We’re a bit short of that in one or two areas.”

One such area is at the back. Middlesbrough aren’t particularly blessed with options in defence and their lack of clean sheets is testament to that according to Warnock. In their eight fixtures so far, they have had two clean sheets, against Derby County and Nottingham Forest.

“We can go anywhere and beat anybody but until we start getting clean sheets too… it’s not rocket science.”

He admitted that he is ‘disappointed’ with how it has gone up to this point, but said that his side will be up for their next game.

“We’re all disappointed,” he said.

“That’s how it is at times. You’ve just got to get on with it. They’ll be raring to go next week.”

Middlesbrough take on Reading away from home on Saturday afternoon in front of the Sky Sports cameras. The Teessiders will be hoping to get back to winning ways against the Royals and propel themselves up the table as quickly as possible.