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Interviews

The players made a point

20 February 2018

Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka was delighted by the response of his players in the second half of tonight's 1-1 draw against Reading.

A sluggish first-half display left Forest trailing at the interval but they were a much-improved side after the break and deservedly equalised late on through Lee Tomlin to leave the manager with a smile on his face.

Speaking after the game he said: "I'm delighted with the second-half performance but not with the first. We need to be starting games with the same intensity as we started the second half and then we can enjoy games at home. 

"The atmosphere was amazing in the second half and we always need to give our supporters a performance that they can get behind. I still can't understand why we started the game so slowly but the response was excellent after half-time.

"In the second half we needed to be much more aggressive because in the first half we were losing every single challenge. The tactics didn't need to change because the lads knew what they needed to do but we just had to step up our intensity levels."

The crowd of over 21,000 roared the players on in the second half and Karanka believes the fans got the second-half performance their support deserved.

He said: "I've been here for six or seven weeks now and I've been waiting to hear an atmosphere like this one tonight. My first three home games have been a nightmare but tonight I finally got to experience the incredible atmosphere here and I was delighted with how the crowd got right behind the players.

"I'm really pleased for the crowd tonight because they can go home knowing that we are moving in the right direction. I know they will be really pleased with the effort and commitment of the players in the second half and now we have to keep it going.

"All we had to do after half-time was get the basics right. It wasn't about tactics or formations, it was about getting into the faces of the opposition and being confident on the ball and in the second half we certainly did that."


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