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We need to be brave

6 April 2017

Nottingham Forest manager Mark Warburton says his side need to be brave in their play ahead of the clash with Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

The Reds have drawn twice and lost once under Warburton’s management, with that defeat coming on Tuesday night at Wolves, and the Forest boss said each game as important as each other. 

He said: “They are all important games and we are aware of the significance of each fixture but we have to focus on ourselves. That was the key point to emerge from Tuesday night; we left the ground disappointed with the result, we have dropped points but we can’t control what goes on away from us. 

“I felt we did enough in the game to come away with a point. The fine margins in the game at this level are such that you have to take your opportunities. We didn’t have the same clinical side to our play as we did against Preston. We have got to take our rewards.

“The players’ work ethic and commitment is there to see; it is just the fine margins. We have to recognise where we are and what we need to do and I think we are in good shape for the remaining games.

“We are at the stage of the season where every point is vital. Anyone can beat anyone in this division and no matter who we face, home or away, it will be a tough test. We have to prepare well and if we don’t we will pay the price. If you are below par or one or two players aren’t quite at it, you will pay the price. We have to go into every game well prepared and looking forward to a challenge.

“It is about being brave. The players have taken on board lessons and responded quickly. They need to be brave to take the ball in tight areas and deal with it. They are good enough to do it and be penetrative with their passing and show the qualities that a modern player needs. They have those qualities and they need to have the belief to show them.”

Warburton said that it is important to have a fully fit squad for the run-in and he was pleased that key players were able to get more game time on Tuesday night. 

He said: “It is important that every player is fit and well and ready to deliver. We saw Armand and Matt come back in and, with Danny Fox being sent off, we will be forced into making one change on Saturday. It was important to give players quality pitch time. Michael stepped in and Jamie came on the pitch again. David and Chris got more time under their belts and it is important that the squad have confidence that they can be used at any time. 

“They are playing well, enjoying their football, and we have to manage their down time. It is all about performance and being ready when the whistle goes. For me, David and Chris have been outstanding and they have been on the pitch, impacted performances and shown great leadership qualities and quality on the ball and long may that continue.”

Huddersfield have been performing above expectations this season and are in with a slim chance of gaining automatic promotion, and Warburton is expecting a tough contest.

He said: “Huddersfield are in fine form, they had a good result last night in a very strong performance. They are a good team in a play-off place fighting at the top of the table. We need to be brave on the ball, dominate quickly and penetrate in good areas to cause them problems.

“All credit to their manager and their squad, they have gone about their business very well. They have caught a few off guard and have maintained a level of intensity and quality which has shocked some teams. They are where they are for a reason; the table doesn’t lie and they are in a good position.”

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