REUTERS - Caretaker manager Steve Agnew is eager to find the right balance between attack and defence for Middlesbrough after the club slipped seven points from Premier League safety following Wednesday’s 4-2 loss at fellow strugglers Hull City.
Middlesbrough are the league’s lowest scorers with 22 goals and have relied heavily on their defence to secure points this season, but their back four was left brutally exposed at Hull when an emphasis was placed on attack.
“The risk has to be calculated. We have to stay in games... we have to be a threat going forward and find the balance,” Agnew told British media.
“That’s ‘can we score a goal?’ but also know clean sheets can help us win games.”
Middlesbrough, who have a game in hand on 17th-placed Hull, are without a win in their last 13 league games and Agnew admitted his side will likely need to defy the odds if they hope to maintain their top flight status next season.
“It’s difficult now, it’s a huge challenge, but it’s not one that we can’t achieve,” the 51-year-old added. “We’ve got a group of players who’ll fight until the very end and we have game in hand on some teams, and a home game on Saturday.”
Middlesbrough host 14th-placed Burnley at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday.
Reporting by Shravanth Vijayakumar in Bengaluru