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Karanka happy with in-form Reds

10 November 2018

Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka says he was pleased to see his side go toe-to-toe with Stoke City at The City Ground this afternoon.

The Reds were unfortunate not to come away with all three points as Jack Butland made two outstanding saves to deny Joe Lolley and Lewis Grabban and the manager was happy with the manner of his side's display, particuarly after half-time.

He said: "I think it was one of those games where if you can't win it then don't lose it. The performance was really good and it was a shame we couldn't dedicate a win to little Liam but I'm sure he would have been proud of the performance.

"In the first half we probably showed Stoke too much respect and at half-time I told the players to be brave and play our style. I asked them to go out in the second half and want the three points and I thought the second half was much better.

"At times in the first half we were too worried about Stoke that we stopped concentrating on ourselves. In the second half I thought we were much braver with the ball and we defended their crosses into the box really well."

Stoke were able to name a number of experienced former Premier League players in their starting line-up and Karanka was impressed with his side's application against such a talented opposition.

He said: "If you look at their squad they've got some top quality players, players like Butland who play for their national team. So for us it's good to compete against a team like Stoke and in the last three weeks we've played three top teams and done well in every game.

"Claudio Yacob played really well in the last game but we can't forget the 30-35 games that Jack Colback has done well in. We've got excellent competition for places and Claudio knows that he will have more chances to come to contribute to the team."

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