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"The team I want us to be"

4 August 2018

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Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka praised his side's second-half performance following the 1-1 draw against Bristol City.

Daryl Murphy's goal in the first minute of the second half earned Forest a point on the opening day at Ashton Gate and the boss was happy with his team's response after they had trailed to Andreas Weimann's strike at the interval.

Speaking after the game he said: "I'm happy, especially with the second half. In the second half we looked like the team I want us to be. We had a perfect pre-season but early on in this game, we didn't look like we realised the Championship was starting today and that one mistake is difficult to recover from.

"The attitude was completely different in the second half and we looked like a different team. Bristol City simply wanted it more than we did in the first ten minutes and we need to make sure that we go on to the pitch with the same intensity as our opponents.

"It is tough when you move into competitive league football from pre-season so some mistakes are natural. The only thing I hope is that we learn from the early mistake and that is the last one that we see."

Karanka opted for Murphy as the lone striker ahead of Lewis Grabban and Hillal Soudani and the manager was delighted to see the Irishman rewarded for his hard work in pre-season training.

He said: "Daryl has been training with us since the first day of pre-season and Lewis arrived a little bit later. I'm really pleased for him because I've known him for four or five years and he is a great striker who is very well respected. 

"A lot of people spoke about Daryl not scoring in pre-season but he has scored today which is more important for us. It will be an important goal for his confidence moving forward I hope.

"All three Portuguese guys played well and it was good for Joao and Diogo to get 90 minutes under their belts. They all have quality and will help us throughout the season but they are just a few parts of a very talented squad."

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