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Feeling refreshed

28 March 2018

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Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka said the international break was much-needed for his side as they prepare for the end of season run-in.

The Reds have been putting in some hard work on the training pitch, as well as taking some much needed rest ahead of their return to action against Millwall on Friday.

Karanka said: "It has been good. I said after the last game that we needed the break as the last month and a half has been really tough.

"We changed a lot of players, the players have played a lot of games in a row so needed to rest. We also needed to work on the pitch and these two weeks have been good as we have been able to do both of those things.

"The players have come back happier, if possible, and we know that we have an important month and a half ahead of us, starting against Millwall."

The Reds visit The Den following seven games unbeaten, but they face Neil Harris's side which has gone on a fine run themselves of 12 league games without defeat as they make a late surge for the play-offs.

Karanka is expecting a difficult afternoon against a strong side in a hostile atmosphere in South London.

"I know how tough this stadium is and it is a difficult moment for us to go there as they are in really good form," he said.

"You can feel the atmosphere there, the crowd shouting and doing everything for their team. But these are the games that I like to play. The atmospheres are good and they can show that you are ready to play these kind of games.

"It is a chance to show how good we are at the moment, to go forward and to score the chances we are creating to win games.

"It is not a coincidence that they are winning games. If you analyse them, they are a really good side and Neil is doing a very good job there. They are organised and aggressive and it will be a tough game but we need to think about ourselves."

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