Coventry City v Middlesbrough - Warnock dreams of summer striker intake

NEIL WARNOCK has never been one to mince his words – and he is not about to start now.

Middlesbrough manager Neil Warnock is frustrated at his side's current lack of firepower.. Picture: Tim Goode/PA

The Middlesbrough manager admits he is currently looking on enviously at the contributions arriving from the strikers at clubs in the same play-off vicinity as Boro – such as Barnsley and former club Cardiff City

Throughout this season, Boro’s striking pool have flattered to deceive and failed to put their hand up on a consistent basis for Warnock, who has tried a number of formations.

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He admits that there is not a great deal he can do about it as it stands, as Boro approach the key business end of the season and his answer to questions is blunt.

He said: “All you do is pray for the summer.

“We have got lads out of contract and we are going to have to bring lads in and we just hope we can get the right ones.

“I think you need your strikers to consistently score in those (run-in) periods. Barnsley are playing some really good stuff and I saw their game on Saturday and their strikers looked on fire.

“You just hope you can have a run and find that right blend through the middle to get you goals, which is going to be vital if you go on a run.”

Boro, who triumphed 4-1 at Coventry’s temporary home of St Andrew’s on their last visit to the venue to face Birmingham just before Christmas – and ironically looked the part up front for once – have at least a couple of fresh attacking options on the flanks to boost their offensive options.

Marcus Tavernier caught the eye on his return from injury in Saturday’s draw with Cardiff and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing was also afforded some invaluable game time to boost his match fitness in the 1-1 draw at the Riverside Stadium.

Warnock added: “It was good to get Tavernier back out on the field.

“He lasted the game, which I did not expect him to.

“That was a plus and Mendez-Laing getting 60 or 70 minutes was another plus for us and it is nice in their build-up for them to get some more minutes under their belt.”

Last six games: Coventry DLLWLD; Middlesbrough LLWWLD.

Referee: G Scott (Oxon).

Last time: Coventry 3 Middlesbrough 1, January 21, 2012; Championship.

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