According to The Hartlepool Mail, Middlesbrough manager Tony Pulis is hoping his side’s embarrassing League Cup defeat to Burton Albion can spur them on in the Championship, and has sent a warning to leaders Leeds and Norwich.
While Boro dominated the game at The Riverside on Tuesday, they still looked to be remarkably blunt in attack, failing to score against a team in Burton that are floundering in League One.
Boro fielded perhaps the strongest side they could, but their forward attack of Jordan Hugill, Martin Braithwaite and Stewart Downing still failed to find the back of the net.
With the northeast outfit looking so toothless in attack, it seems hard to believe that Leeds or Norwich would be intimidated by the Welshman’s warning. Boro will desperately need to recruit new faces in January, but still have three fixtures before their New Year’s Day fixture against Derby. Fortunately those three matches are against strugglers Reading, Sheffield Wednesday and Ipswich, but very few Boro fans will be taking anything for granted at the moment, particularly in light of their cup exit.
After their New Year’s Day fixture, they face League One outfit Peterborough in the FA Cup, before travelling to Birmingham on the 12th. That gives them a window of opportunity to bring in new blood in the transfer window, and it must be done as soon as possible. For now, however, it is simply a case of Middlesbrough holding on for dear life in the league, and hoping that they do not slip down any further.