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Foundations for victory

25 January 2018

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Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka hopes to build on the clean sheet picked up in the win against Wolves when The Reds take on Hull City in the Emirates FA Cup.

Karanka knows that a solid defence is the starting point for success and said that shutting out the opponents can only breed confidence through the rest of his side.

He said: "It is important to score goals, but I will always say that it is important to build a team and the foundations are in keeping clean sheets. When you don't concede you are more confident on the pitch and then, with the players that we have in this squad, we work together on the pitch to get results.

"We didn't concede a goal at Wolves as we played as a team. When we do that, it is easier to keep a clean sheet, it is easier to win games and it is easier to score goals. This is the way we need to keep improving as it has just been one game. We won at Wolves but that is in the past and now we have another important game.

"I have been here for two weeks and to win on Saturday would be another step. We have to grow step by step and the players know that the game against Wolves was amazing, but it is in the past.

"If we go into the game on Saturday thinking it will be easy because of where Hull are in the league, we would be wrong. We need to prepare for the game in the same way in order to get something."

A win on Saturday would see The Reds reach the fifth round of the competition for the first time in four years and Karanka is well aware of the significance of the FA Cup for the club and the fans.

"It is an amazing competition; I have good memories of it," he said." It is really important, especially in our case when we aren't doing as well in the league, for the fans. They are going in their numbers on Saturday and it is good for them.

"The fans are really important and now they are starting to believe again. I love it. It is what I wanted when I came here, for the crowd to start believing in the team. My aim was to make them proud of their team. Their support at Wolves was really good and we will have 4,000 fans there on Saturday, and another 4,000 there at Fulham.

"It is really nice and in order to do something, we need to go together; as supporters, as a team and as a club and I think we are really strong."

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