On Sunday afternoon Middlesbrough suffered a 3-1 home defeat against Manchester United. The defeat means that Boro are 19th in the Premier League table, five points away from the safety of 17th place.
The main problem at Boro this season has been scoring goals. The north east side have scored a league low of 20 goals this season and their goal against United was their first in their last five outings in the top-flight.
Spanish boss Aitor Karanka’s cautious style was blamed for Boro’s struggles in front of goal. The former Real Madrid centre-back left his role last week by mutual consent, leaving interim boss Steve Agnew to attempt to find a solution to the team’s goal drought.
There are a number of attacking players capable of making an impact on goal at the club, including Alvaro Negredo, Stewart Downing, Gaston Ramirez and Rudy Gestede, not to mention the unpredictable but talented winger Adama Traore.
Agnew and his Boro coaching staff need to work quickly or the north east side will be heading straight back to the Championship after just one season in the top-flight. Boro have continued their good defensive displays from last season, but have simply not been enough of an attacking threat.
Boro face vital games in the next few fixtures, as they face Hull away from home, while they also host Burnley at the Riverside Stadium. If they are to get out of trouble then they will need to pick up points from those games.
The race for Premier League survival is still relatively tight. However, a number of teams have broken clear in recent weeks. Leicester and Crystal Palace have both won three straight games in the top-flight, so look to moving up the table.
Boro still have to target 17th place Swansea City, but to do that they need to score goals and at the moment that looks to be a major problem for Boro.