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A costly first-half display

1 September 2018

Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka says his team's first-half performance cost them any chance of taking something from this afternoon's game at Brentford.

The Reds suffered defeat for the first time this season, going down by two goals to one, and the manager was left disappointed by the manner of his side's start to the game.

He said: "Especially in the first half they were much better than us and although we played much better in the second half, it wasn't enough. Once the game was stretched towards the end, they looked stronger than we did. 

"The major disappointment for me is that we should have played in the first half as we did in the second. I told the players before the game that the best way to defend against Brentford is to keep the ball but in the first half we couldn't keep possession for long enough.

"It wasn't a problem with our attitude or our commitment, we just didn't make enough movements in the first half. After half-time, everyone moved and everyone wanted the ball and that is when we started to cause them some real problems."

Forest produced a much-improved second-half performance and levelled through Matty Cash's fourth goal of the season but Karanka admits his players have to start putting in better displays on a more consistent basis after the international break.

He said: "When Ben (Osborn) and Matty came on to the pitch they provided real energy for us and I'm delighted with them. It was only in the last five or ten minutes of the game that we looked a little bit tired after the effort we put into the match on Wednesday night.

"No-one likes to lose football matches but we have to be more consistent when we come back after the two-week break. We need to produce more performances like the West Brom and Newcastle games and that needs to last for the whole 90 minutes."

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