Strachan anxious for Boro to end scoring drought
GORDON Strachan has ordered his Middlesbrough players to entertain the Riverside crowd this afternoon and demanded they produce better performances than the ones he watched in the cinema at Teesside Park earlier this week. Boro's recent Riverside record has been wretched, with four of their last five outings on home soil ending in defeat. After the warmth that accompanied Strachan's arrival ahead of last month's home game with Plymouth, things quickly fell flat as the Teessiders slipped to a 1-0 defeat. Strachan accepts that his players must shoulder responsibility for energising Boro's home support, and having watched a series of dud performances himself this week on the silver screen, the Scotsman is calling on his side to avoid a flop of their own. It's very hard for a fan to get vocal if there's not anything happening, said the Middlesbrough manager. It's like going to the cinema to watch a comedy and, if there's no comedy in the film, you cannot laugh. I went to one last week that was like that The Men Who Stare At Goats. I don't know if it was meant to be a comedy or what. I'm not sure what that film was meant to be, but I certainly didn't laugh. Me and the 20 other people in the cinema were scratching our heads wondering what was going on. Never mind The Men Who Stare At Goats', Strachan will be hoping it is a case of The Men Who Stare At Goals' as the Riverside faithful look on this afternoon. Boro are still to open their account under the former Celtic boss, and while Strachan has been satisfied with the quality of his side's overall play in defeats to Plymouth and Crystal Palace, he admits that putting the ball in the net has been a major problem. We all know the problem is that we need to score goals, and we need to be a more rounded team, he said. The effort of the players hasn't gone down in the last two weeks, and their ability to create chances hasn't gone down either. But actually scoring has obviously been a bit of an issue. We can't rely on one person scoring the goals, we need to all chip in and score winning goals. That seems to be our only problem at the moment. Today's game offers an opportunity to put that right, with Boro lining up against a Forest side managed by Strachan's fellow Scotsman, Billy Davies. I haven't really crossed swords with Billy as a manager, said the Boro boss. But I know him fairly well. I think the last time I bumped into him was at Alloa. I was up watching Alloa with my wife, and he was sitting in the stand. I wanted to go into the stand as well to say hello, but the steward charged me another pound to go up there. It cost me and my wife £2 just to have a chat with Billy. I'd travelled all the way from Coventry to get there and had these complimentary tickets. But the steward said Aye son, but they're not for the stand. You're going to have to pay another pound'. Billy was already at the top of the stand, so obviously he was very rich at the time.
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