Aitor Karanka’s strugglers are the Premier League’s lowest scorers with just 19 in 24 games this season, which works out at a goal almost every two hours.
A solid defensive record bettered by only three other top flight teams is the main reason Boro have kept their head above water in the fight for survival.
But they are just a point clear of the drop zone after going almost two months without a league win to put them in danger of an immediate return to the Championship following automatic promotion last may.
Former Goodison Park trainee Forshaw is yet to find the net this season as the lifelong Evertonian prepares to face his boyhood idols at the Riverside after Karanka’s squad returned from a warm-weather training break in Spain.
“Being critical of myself and others we maybe should score a few more goals,” said midfielder Forshaw, who hopes January arrivals Patrick Bamford, Rudy Gestede and Adlene Guediora will help kick-start Boro’s quest to find the net on a more regular basis.
Adam Forshaw wants Middlesbrough to start finding the net more
Aitor Karanka's side are the lowest scorers in the Premier League
He said: “They’re three players who carry a goal threat and there’s a freshness about them and a hunger to score goals.”
Gaston Ramirez is set to figure for the first time in almost six weeks after failing to engineer a move to Leicester.
The 26-year-old handed in a transfer request in a bid to force Boro’s hand but the clubs were unable to agree a fee for the £15m-rated midfielder.
Everton manager Ronald Koeman believes Ross Barkley’s sparkling form is vindication for the “tough love” he showed him earlier in the season.
Koeman regularly singled out the attacking midfielder for criticism during the initial stages of this campaign.
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So much so that Barkley sought out Koeman at the training ground for an explanation as to why he was being picked on.
But Koeman believes that player, club and manager are now all reaping the rewards of that approach with Barkley relishing his role as the chief creator in the forward ranks.
“It is always difficult,” said Koeman. “I spoke about this [my criticism] with Ross. He mentioned that it is always about him. I said ‘OK, start to be afraid when they don’t ask about you. Then you need to be afraid’.
“And if the manager is still criticising you as a player then it means he still believes in your qualities. If I don’t talk about you anymore than that is when you need to be afraid.
“If you look at Ross he’s really improving and also playing a different position to one he was playing before. He is more offensive and not one of three midfield players.”