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
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
"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
"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
"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."