MICHAEL CARRICK is confident Marcus Forss could be an effective proposition if played as a central striker, but the Boro boss is more than happy with the Finn’s recent impact from the right-hand side.

Forss’ clinical opener in last weekend’s derby draw with Sunderland made it three goals in his last three league games following strikes against Millwall and Rotherham United.

While Forss has been flexing his goalscoring muscles cutting in from the right, Boro have been operating without a natural centre-forward to play through the middle in the absence of Emmanuel Latte Lath and Josh Coburn.

There has been a growing clamour for the Finland international to get a chance as a central striker, but while Carrick is convinced he could succeed in the role, he is content with Forss’ impact in the last few games.

“Marcus can play wide or through the middle,” said the Boro boss. “He is a real threat and finds ways to be dangerous on the last line. From the right, Marcus drifts inside and finds that space in and around the box.

“He wants to be in and around the goal because that’s his natural instinct to be in and around there. He’s got a good sense of when to arrive, crucially. He’s versatile. He defends well, he presses well, and he knows that role pretty well now, so we’re really pleased with what he’s doing.”


Forss was forced off in the closing stages of last weekend’s draw with Sunderland, and appeared to be in some discomfort, but he has fully recovered and should be in the starting side when Bristol City visit the Riverside tomorrow.

“It was just a bit of cramp, so no major concern in the end,” said Carrick. “That’s good because he’s looked really sharp since coming back.

“He brings that eye for goal for us, and he has that sense of space in the box and composure to finish the chances off. He is clinical, and we will obviously need a lot of that between now and the end of the season.”