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A welcome morale boost

11 August 2018

Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka said that today’s win against Reading was important to help the mood in the changing room.

Hillal Soudani's strike sealed the victory at The City Ground and Karanka was pleased that his side were able to grind out the win despite not being at their best.

Speaking after the game, he said: "It wasn't the best game to play. We played well against Bristol in the second half, we played really well against West Brom on Tuesday for almost 80 minutes and today we didn't play as well as in those games but we won the game.

"Sometimes it is important, especially for the confidence of the players, to win games in this way because it is impossible to always play the way we did on Tuesday.

"Sometimes we will suffer on the pitch; Reading is a good team and they knew that they had to suffer until the end."

The introduction of Soudani and Matty Cash from the bench gave Forest a lift in the second half, ultimately leading to the winner, and Karanka was pleased with the effort and attitude of the whole squad to play their part.

He said: "When you are ready to make decisions, I told everyone that they will be important in this team. To be in the stand, on the bench or on the pitch, they should help the team.

"It is important that everyone understands their role. I told them that everyone is important as we started the season last week and it finishes in May. We have a very good squad and everyone will be important.

"Hillal deserved it and Cash deserved it for his performance. He did really well last season and it showed that he hasn't given up because the Portuguese players arrived. I am really pleased because of the three points but also because the atmosphere in the changing room is really good."

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