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Managing the game

14 December 2018

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Aitor Karanka believes Nottingham Forest will need to manage the game well when they visit local rivals Derby County on Monday evening.

The Reds travel to Pride Park for the East Midlands derby and Karanka is looking forward to the game and proving how far his side have come since the last meeting between the two teams.

He said: "I am looking forward to it; I have heard about this game a lot of times. We played it last season but the game wasn't the same conditions for both teams.

"Now, it is really nice because I am really proud of the players and the way that the club is working. After just seven months, we are almost in the same position as them.

"They are three important points and it means more than that. But we have to try to play the game in the way that we know we can, to control the game and that when we have the ball we are a good team.

"We showed against other teams, that when we don't have the ball we have to defend and be organised. We have to try to manage this game in both directions; when we have the ball we try to play and when we don't have the ball we have to be consistent and organised."

Karanka is sweating on the fitness on some players but admits that he won't risk them with a busy schedule ahead, despite everyone being eager to be involved.

"All of them are excited," he said. "Everybody wants to be involved in the game. The players who are injured are desperate to arrive to play but we have to be careful and not take any risks.

"After the Derby game, we have a lot of games over Christmas so if we lose again Michael Dawson or Danny Fox, it could be a big mistake. I need to check until Sunday and then make a decision.

"I hope they can be involved. Until the moment that the doctor tells me that there is no chance, we will check for the players. Let's see what happens but I don't want to take any risks with both of them."

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