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Tony Pulis reveals his striking experiment as Middlesbrough target attacking improvements

Tony Pulis has discussed his striking experiment
Tony Pulis has discussed his striking experiment

Tony Pulis has revealed that his decision to pair Britt Assombalonga and Jordan Hugill as a front two was something of an experiment.

The Middlesbrough manager opted to field the pair together for the first time during the 1-1 with Hull City and admitted that the decision was made in order to see whether they could play together.

Pulis hoped it could prove an end to Boro's woes in front of goal, but he was once again left frustrated as his side spurred several glorious chances.

No side in the top half has scored less goals than Middlesbrough, with Boro heavily reliant upon their fine rearguard in recent weeks as they continue to grind out results.

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That needs to stop, according to Pulis, who wants his attcking players to show a clinical edge - starting with the visit to Ipswich on Tuesday.

"I just wanted to see what the two of them are like together," he admitted, when asked about his decision to play with a front two.

"We've got Rudy and Fletch now who had 90 minutes this week, so that's two other options.

"We've got Martin (Braithwaite) and Stewart (Downing) off the sides as well, so we've got options there. We just have to make sure they're bright enough.

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"Britt got his goal, that's fantastic. But we need to get more goals. We've had more opportunities again today.

"We have to take them and be more clinical. The lads work hard, they're a good group and they try to do their best. Sometimes you can fall a little bit short.

"We're going to play our third away game in 10 days (at Ipswich on Tuesday), that's the way it is. You have to pick them up and move on again. They're disappointed because we had the opportunity to go top but it's one defeat this season.

"We've got score more goals, though, we can't keep relying on the back players."

READ: Pulis has this transfer message for Middlesbrough fans
Meanwhile, Middlesbrough have been handed a home tie with Crystal Palace in the next round of the Carabao Cup.

Boro are just three wins away from a trip to Wembley, but have been handed a tough test against Roy Hodgson's Premier League outfit.

The game will see Pulis pitted against his former employers with the 60-year-old having managed the Eagles between November 2013 and August 2014.

He left the club in controversial circumstances having claimed that he was not properly backed by the Palace board in the transfer market.