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The perfect response

24 October 2018

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Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka was delighted to see his side bounce back from Saturday's defeat to Norwich with a controlled 3-0 win over Bolton this evening.

The Reds put in a commanding display at the University of Bolton Stadium as Lewis Grabban's brace helped them to victory and Karanka emphasised the importance of three points and another clean sheet away from home.

Speaking after the game he said: "It was a really good performance. From the first minute we played well and we showed that Saturday was forgotten about. In the second part of the first half we dropped off a bit but the second half was much better and I think it was the perfect response.

"I could feel tonight that all the players were confident and we needed to have a bit of a chat at half-time to re-focus our minds. Every game in the Championship is difficult, even at 2-0 up, so the third goal was important for our confidence in the final minutes.

"It was important to bounce back tonight and it is important to recognise that we're in a good way. Saturday's game showed that in this league you have to concentrate at all times and be focussed as every game is tough and tonight we had those qualities."

For the second time this season Grabban scored and missed a penalty in the same game and Karanka insists he will always give his full support to the striker who has now scored eight times this campaign.

He said: "Sometimes when you miss a penalty it is hard to take the next one but Lewis always wants to take the ball. He's a strong character and he trusts his own ability so it is important for us to have a player like this in our squad.

"I've thought about changing the penalty taker but Lewis took the ball so I backed him all the way. He's happy and confident and you can tell that rubs off on the rest of the team."

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