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Head coach on striker conundrum

Posted: Thu 07 Mar 2013
Author: Adam Baker
Sean O'Driscoll

Sean O'Driscoll

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O'Driscoll discusses one versus two up top.

Sean O’Driscoll has been discussing the conundrum facing him on team selection.

The head coach opted to field Jon Stead as his only forward in the goalless draw with Brighton & Hove Albion in midweek.

That formation was set up to thwart the Seagulls – and it worked. But O’Driscoll is well aware some supporters will be keen to see a return to two attackers when Middlesbrough visit BS3 this weekend.

O’Driscoll said at his pre-match press conference: “Some of the most successful sides in the country play with one striker.

“If you play with two forwards you can run the risk of being overrun in midfield, which we felt would have been the case against Brighton.

“As I’ve said before, modern day football being the way it is, you expect every player to do one-and-a-half jobs. To play two out-and-out strikers, you have to be a team that can dominate possession.

“That is difficult to do when you have two up front. To a degree, that is what has happened and we’ve had to be effective with less possession. At the same time you have to make sure you are not too open.”

Sam Baldock and Steven Davies are both available should O’Driscoll opt for an extra forward, while Ryan Taylor is now back in non-contact training after recovering from a broken collarbone.

Richard Foster will be absent until after the international break at the end of this month. The Scottish defender’s Achilles problem remains a concern and will require an injection.