Tony Pulis reveals what Middlesbrough must do to overtake Leeds and top the Championship
Tony Pulis believes that developing a cutting edge in front of goal will allow Middlesbrough to become true promotion contenders.
And the Boro boss has called on his strikers to start delivering the goods, and has laid down the gauntlet for one of them to become the 20-goal per season frontman he craves.
While Middlesbrough have enjoyed a fine start to the season and currently sit second in the Championship, finding the net has often proved their downfall.
No side in the top half of the table has scored fewer goals than Pulis' side and he knows that finding a consistent goalscorer will be the key to overtaking Leeds at the summit of the second tier.
The table-topping Whites' 19-goal haul is in stark contrast to the 11 netted by Boro so far this season, with their manager acutely aware that such a record must improve.
Although Pulis was disappointed not to bring in more attacking recruits during the summer window, he is still confident in the strikers he does have at his disposal.
The likes of Jordan Hugill, Britt Assombalonga and Rudy Gestede are all proven goalscorers in the second tier and Pulis has backed them to hit the goal trail and drive the team back towards the Premier League.
“All of them have got good goalscoring records," said Pulis.
"We played two different strikers against Preston. I believe they have got good scoring records at this level, we need someone to come up out of the group and get 20 goals.
“That's what we need. To get promoted we need someone to get 20 goals. To put in those tap-ins, those crosses.
"Because then it's 1-0 instead of 0-0. If we score early the game opens up, and that suits us.”