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Time to toughen up

20 September 2017

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Nottingham Forest manager Mark Warburton says his side must be more ruthless in both boxes following tonight's 5-1 Carabao Cup defeat at Chelsea.

The Reds were well beaten at Stamford Bridge as Michy Batshuayi netted a hat-trick and the Forest boss admits his side cannot keep giving teams a headstart in matches.

Speaking after the game he said: "We started the game strongly, we came out and moved the ball quickly but again we gave away two goals. Just like against Sheffield Wednesday and Wolves, we gave away two sloppy goals and suddenly it was an uphill battle against a world-class team.

"It is alright saying we played in certain stages but it is irrelevant if we continue to concede soft goals. We've got to become hard to beat and have a real passion to defend our goal. At the moment we've got a soft underbelly and we're too easy to score against.

"We gave the ball away 20 yards from our goal on a number of occasions and if we do that against world-class players then we will get hurt. As soon as we went 2-0 down some of the shoulders slumped and it became much more difficult."

Warburton takes his side to Aston Villa on Saturday and says his players must produce a response and show the character that he knows they possess.

He said: "As a group of players and staff, it is about what can we do now. It is all well and good being complimentary about our style of play but if we're too easy to beat then it means nothing.

"We've used the squad tonight by making eight changes but there is enough quality in that dressing room to be a good team. Goals change games and at the moment we're conceding too many soft ones."

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