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Karanka relishing Riverside return

5 April 2018

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Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka is looking forward to coming up against his former side Middlesbrough at the Riverside on Saturday.

The Reds travel north to take on Tony Pulis's side and Karanka is keen to leave Teesside with all three points.

He said: "I am looking forward to it as I spent three-and-a-half amazing years there and it was my first step in my management career. I have a lot of good memories, I met a lot of amazing people so it is a game that I have been looking forward to since I arrived here.

"I hope for a warm reception. I tried to do my best there. I had a good relationship with the owners, the players and the crowd. They knew that I was trying my best for the club, in the way that I am trying to do here.

"To win, it would be another three points. We are preparing the same that we did for Millwall and Barnsley and the way we will for Brentford next Tuesday.

"It is another game. It is a little bit different for me because of my past with Middlesbrough, but at the end of it there are three points on the table."

Forest's game against Barnsley on Easter Monday was called off due to a waterlogged pitch at The City Ground and it was a decision which Karanka understood, but he was left frustrated that his side couldn't show an immediate reaction from the defeat against Millwall on Good Friday.

"It was frustrating," he said. "We had the game against Millwall and you want to forget that performance and result as soon as possible. You want to play as soon as possible but for the safety of the players, the best decision was made.

"We have learned from that situation at Millwall and now my only concern is that without the game last Monday, we need to be really concentrated for the game on Saturday as it is another 10 days or so without playing."

Karanka added that he was delighted that Danny Fox had signed a new contract with the club earlier today and that it was a just reward for the way the experienced defender had performed in recent weeks.

He said: "I am pleased as Foxy is a player who has been playing really well in the last month and he is a player who knows the league. He has accepted the changes at the club really well and he is a player who is not only important on the pitch, but off it as well.

"He is confident and it is really important for the team. I am pleased for him and he is a very good example for other players."

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