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A disappointing display

25 August 2018

Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka was unable to hide his frustration at his team's performance following today's 2-2 draw with Birmingham City.

The Reds produced a lacklustre display at The City Ground and despite a late fightback earning them a point, Karanka was not happy with the nature of his side's performance.

Speaking after the game he said: "We cannot keep fooling ourselves that we'll keep fighting back in every game. We have to improve a lot because today should have been a reflection of our hard work on the training ground but instead it was the opposite.

"We didn't play in our style, we played in a way that suited them much better than us and they were the better team. Now we have to keep learning and improving because although some people might be happy that was equalised late on, it is not enough.

"We didn't just start the game poorly, we played badly for 75 minutes. You have to play at 150% in this league to win games and so now we need to go away and work out why everything was so poor for the first 75 minutes of this game."

Substitutes Joe Lolley and Ben Osborn both had impressive cameos after coming off the bench and the manager was pleased with their respective impacts on the game and also revealed the reason for Lewis Grabban's absence from the matchday squad.

"I was really pleased with Joe and Ben because they made a real impact. I like it when players come off the bench and make a strong impression but I prefer it when the players who start the game put in a good performance for the 90 minutes.

"Lewis is struggling with his Achilles at the moment but I don't expect that to be a serious problem. We hope to have him back in the squad as soon as possible."

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