English Premiership

Karanka faces striker dillema

2016-11-25 15:40
Aitor Karanka (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka admits he faces a conundrum amongst his striking options but denied suggestions that Jordan Rhodes will seek a transfer in January.

Karanka has preferred starting off-season signing Alvaro Negredo as a lone striker, which has reaped mixed rewards with the Spain international only finding the back of the net once - on the opening day of the season.

Karanka's other options to lead the line include Rhodes, David Nugent and Christian Stuani, who are naturally unhappy about not featuring more prominently in the top-flight since helping Boro to promotion.

Nonetheless. the Spanish tactician has defended his current lone striker tactics and urged Negredo to not get too despondent about his lack of goals, or support within his 4-5-1 formation this season.

"Every single player who is not playing is frustrated," he told Gazette Live reporters, while denying the Scotland international issued a transfer request. "When I was a player I was the same but as a manager I have to think about the team to put the best XI out on the pitch.

"As a striker it's frustrating for him that he's not scoring goals," he said in relation to the tactics of consolidating their Premier League status.

"In all his career he's used to having three or four chances every game because he's played at the top level with Sevilla and Manchester City.

"Now he's not having those chances and it's frustrating in that way for him. His role this season is different.

"The aims that he's had in the past are different, but if he keeps working in the way he's working the chances will arrive and the goals will arrive."

"I can't demand anything more from his teammates to help him because every single player, from the keeper to the last player who is not playing, is doing their best," Karanka added.

"I can't demand anything more from his team-mates."

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