Tony Pulis has THIS message for Middlesbrough ahead of Derby County clash

Tony Pulis admits Middlesbrough need add more goals to their game - but insists it has to be a collective effort.

Friday, 26th October 2018, 11:52 am
Updated Friday, 26th October 2018, 11:53 am
Tony Pulis has admitted Middlesbrough need add more goals to their game - but insists it has to be a collectiveeffort.

Boro welcome Frank Lampard's Derby County to the Riverside Stadium tomorrow afternoon lying second in the Championship table.

Pulis' side, along with Leeds United and Sheffield United, are all tied on 26 points, although Middlesbrough are the lowest scorers by some margin.

Tuesday night's 0-0 draw with Rotherham United summed up the supporters' frustration in their lack of goals - and Pulis agrees that his side must do more with their crosses and set pieces.

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"I think they (the supporters) are as frustrated as we were that we hadn't won on Tuesday night," admitted Pulis.

"I think if you're looking at the stats, we're averaging 25 crosses a game, which is in the top five in the league and we should be scoring more goals.

"That's not just the strikers, we should be scoring off set plays, we should be scoring off those more and we need to improve."

To Boro's credit, they have shipped just seven goals so far, a Championship best.

Pulis says he can't fault his players' defensive duties, but has demanded they chip in with more goals.

"It's the final third where we need to improve, but at the back we're very solid and we've been very good there. It's just up top where there needs to be improvement

"But if you take everything in context, the players have done fantastic.

"Whoever goes in off set players, we're looking for them to score goals. I've never been a managers that has said it's got to be the striker that takes charge - it's the team that we want.

"I personally don't care who scores as long as we score goals.

"Mo Besic has added a couple, Jonny Howson could have had six or seven goals but hasn't scored yet. Jonny is regular 8-10 goals midfielder at this level so we're hoping he is saving some for us."

Meanwhile, Derby's recent form has saw them rise to fifth in table and will leapfrog Middlesbrough should they secure three points in the lunch time kick-off.

Only six points separates the top of the Championship to 13th position, which shows just how closely fought the division is this campaign.

Pulis said:"I don't there's a great deal of difference in the teams in lots of ways. It's a much more competitive league than the last time I was in it.

"Coaching's moved on, sport science has moved on and it's a much tougher league.

"I'm delighted where we are, we're second in the table. We play Crystal Palace in the Cup on Wednesday so we've had a good start to the season.

"I think the results on Wednesday night that there is not that greater difference between the teams.

"If you take your foot off the pedal, then there will always be that shock round the corner."