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More hard work ahead

20 December 2018

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Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka has been encouraged by his side’s first half of the season but knows that they need to keep improving if they are to challenge.

The Reds sit in seventh place going into their final home game of 2018 against QPR on Saturday and Karanka wants his side to keep going.

He said: "I prefer to think about the present and if someone had told me in pre-season that we would be here at this point, I would have been really pleased.

"With 17 new players and a lot of games, to build and be in this position, one point below the play-offs and fighting with the best teams in the league, I would have been happy.

"But we know that we have to keep going, to keep learning from the mistakes we have made in the past and adding points to the table but always focusing on the next game."

QPR arrive at The City Ground on the back of a victory over Middlesbrough last weekend and Karanka knows that Steve McClaren's side will provide a stern test.

"I know Steve," he said. "He was a reference for me because he was big at Middlesbrough and I have a good relationship with him. He is a good and experienced manager. They didn't start the season well but they have had a good come back.

"They won the last game against Middlesbrough and they will come here to try and do the same. It will be a tough game, knowing that they are a good team and that Steve is a good manager."

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