Middlesbrough v Ipswich Town: Rhodes link is wake-up call for Boro strikers

Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka.
Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka.
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MIDDLESBROUGH may have been thwarted thus far in their quest to sign prolific marksman Jordan Rhodes, but news of his possible signing could yet have positive attacking spin-offs.

Namely among the club’s striking pool, which is something that will not be lost upon a savvy operator in Aitor Karanka.

His current strikers seizing the moment could not come at a better time for Boro, who embark on the first leg of a monumental triple-header against promotion rivals this lunchtime when they host Ipswich.

Trips to Derby County and Bournemouth follow and how Boro could do with a few choice goal-scoring entries from the likes of Patrick Bamford, Jelle Vossen and Kike.

While confident he has the best Championship squad at his disposal, Karanka says the goal-scoring department, while not exactly malfunctioning, is inferior to other rivals. That claim, however, could be a spot of kidology from the Boro chief.

He said: “We have a goal-scoring problem because we have chances and are not scoring.

“But we are top of the table with three other teams who have players scoring 40 or 45 goals between them. If we had players who started to do that now then we will be in a much stronger position.

“I am sure that my players can score the goals. If I had not thought that they could score goals I would have looked for strikers one or two months ago in January.

“I was not looking for another striker, I trust all of them in the same way I did when I first started the season with them.

“My strikers are in a good place when they are scoring goals.

“When they are not scoring, they are affected. But I remain very confident in their abilities.”