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Byline: Anthony Vickers Sports writer

BLUNT Boro are suffering a crisis of confidence up front as their goal drought goes on, admits Jacob Butterfield.

Aitor Karanka's shot-shy team has gone a club record seven games without scoring.

They thought they had notched at Sheffield Wednesday last week when Butterfield's longrange shot rattled both posts and bounced over the line only to be clawed back into play by the keeper.

"What can you do when that happens?" asked the frustrated midfielder.

"Football comes down to fine margins sometimes. You can work hard and do everything right and then everything turns on a decision by a referee or linesman.

When that happens it is very disappointing.

"But nothing seems to be going our way at the minute. It's not like we are getting battered.

"In fact we are playing well in some respects. The last two we've lost have been to penalties.

"We are not leaking goals from open play. We are absolutely solid at the back and that just makes it all the more frustrating that we have not been able to win games.

"But if you don't score goals you don't win games do you?" Boro have now gone 11 hours and 45 minutes without scoring and Butterfield admits the drought is eroding morale in the final third.

"You can see the confi-dence in front of goal is down," he said. "There's been few times in games when we've had decent chances when, if confi-dence is high, they go in.

"Then the game changes, the other team have to come out more and you can hit them on the counter-attack. When you are winning and scoring you will try more, take responsibility and have the confi-dence and courage to make something happen.

"But people don't realise in football how quickly confidence can go.

"We all know we've got to improve. No goals in seven games, it's not good enough. And that's from everyone who has been part of the team in the last seven games. I think everyone can chip in with goals, not just the strikers.

"We need to improve our quality in front of goal. We have to get it right. We need to be a bit more creative individually and someone has to make things happen.

"Everyone has to be better attacking-wise whether it is taking a chace, creating a chance, moving the ball around the pitch, whatever it takes to be better offensively.

"We are trying. We work at it every day. We do a lot of shooting and attacking drills in training and people are scoring for fun. The goals are flying in. But we have to do it in games.

"I don't think we are far off, we just need to get a few goals and I'm sure the confidence will flood back and things will change."

"It may take one going in off someone's bottom. Sometimes it comes down to that."


Jacob Butterfield says Boro's goalless run is not good enough
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Mar 6, 2014
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