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We have to be strong at home

23 April 2018

Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka is keen to finish the season strongly with two home wins this week, starting against Barnsley tomorrow night.

The Reds face a Barnsley side battling against relegation on Tuesday, followed by the visit of play-off chasing Bristol City on Saturday, and Karanka feels that facing sides with something to play for will give his team extra motivation.

He said: "Our home form is important as we had a bad run one or two months ago, but now we are improving and at home it is very important for me to perform well as if we want to do something, we have to be strong at home.

"I prefer to have these games as we have the motivation to play against the teams that are playing for something. Both are playing for something and we have to respect the league by playing well and playing a strong side. We need to try and win for ourselves though, as we are playing at home and we are playing for this club so we need to try to win.

"It is a good motivation for us as to play against a team that is playing for nothing would be difficult, but now we have to be motivated on the pitch as these teams will be fighting for the points.

"We need to go into in the same way that we did against Cardiff on Saturday and to try and fix the mistakes that we made."

Karanka faces up against a friend in Barnsley boss Jose Morais tomorrow night but he said there is no time for friendships come kick-off at The City Ground.

He said: "Jose is a good friend of mine, we spent three years together at Real Madrid with Jose Mourinho. It is going to be difficult but we need to be honest as a club and as players and get the win, then after the game we will be friends again. He would do the same; we need to be honest with everybody and over the 90 minutes we will forget everything. We are friends, but for the 90 minutes, we are not friends.

"He said that is an important game for them as it is their game in hand, but we need to focus on our game and to know that we aren't playing without pressure. We cannot confuse that lack of pressure with playing without intensity or aggressiveness. We need to try and fight for every single ball and then, without the pressure, we can play our football like we did against Cardiff."

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