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A perfect afternoon

28 July 2018

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Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka said it was a perfect afternoon for The Reds as they defeated AFC Bournemouth 2-0.

Forest finished their pre-season schedule with a victory at The City Ground, much to the delight of Karanka.

Speaking after the game, he said: "We are pleased and not just for the squad. I said to the players before the game today that it will be a reflection of how they have been working since we started four-weeks-ago. It has been almost perfect because we played really well, the attitude of everyone has been perfect.

"Not just the players who started the game, but the players who come on for the last ten minutes. I am really pleased because all of them showed me today that they want to be part of this project this season."

The performances of his players throughout pre-season has given Karanka a selection headache heading into the opening game of the season at Bristol City next weekend.

"But it is the headache that I was expecting four-weeks-ago," he said. "Now, it is perfect because everybody has been perfect. We haven't had injuries so far, so it is good but we have to be careful because we haven't done anything yet.

"It is just pre-season, it is true that today we played really well, but it starts on Saturday. We will start to try to win games, to compete in every single game, but we are in the right way."

The home support has been fantastic, with record season card sales, and Karanka felt it was important to show them this afternoon that all of the talk and excitement about his side was warranted.

He said: "It was important because I knew how excited the people were since the last season finished, but sometimes until the moment that you don't put the performance on the pitch, it is just on the paper.

"It has been good for us to show them that it is not just on the transfer market and on the training ground, but it is on the pitch."

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