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Lolley well aware of Blackburn threat

20 February 2021

Joe Lolley believes keeping Blackburn Rovers' talented attacking players at bay is the key to Nottingham Forest getting all three points at The City Ground on Saturday.

Rovers striker Adam Armstrong has already hit the 20-goal mark this season and Lolley says he and his teammates are only too aware of the threat Tony Mowbray's men will pose this weekend despite their stuttering run of form over recent weeks.

Speaking before the game, he said: "I think the key this weekend will be keeping Blackburn's front players quiet. Bradley Dack is back now, Adam Armstrong has scored a lot of goals this season and Harvey Elliott is a talented player who can create a lot of chances so those three are always going to play a big part. We need to be careful in transition because they're very dangerous on the counter-attack but if we can keep them quiet then we have the quality to win the game ourselves.

"Obviously the result of Wednesday night probably hasn't helped our situation. As the season has gone on, even though we've started to pick up good results we haven't gotten away from the teams down at the bottom so we need to be mindful of that and make sure we pick up results as soon as possible and try to give ourselves a bit of breathing space.

"Performances over time have definitely got better and Wednesday was a big step for us against a team who are obviously doing so well themselves and who are challenging for automatic promotion. Hopefully that performance will give us the confidence that we have got good players and now it's about showing that quality between now and the end of the season so we can start to look up the league table instead of down."

Lolley started his first league game since mid-December in the defeat at Swansea on Wednesday night and the 28-year-old says he was delighted to be back in the starting line-up after a break which has helped him to refresh and refocus both his mind and his body.

He said: "I thought I worked hard on Wednesday night, especially defensively, and I was part of a good team performance. I was fairly consistent throughout the game without being brilliant and couldn't quite deliver that moment which would win the game. When that happens you're always a bit disappointed and you feel like you could have affected the game a bit more but overall, considering it was my first start for a while away at a place like Swansea, I was happy with my overall contribution.

"It has been frustrating to watch from the sidelines in recent weeks but when the team is playing well and picking up results, that is the most important thing. With the situation we find ourselves in, the points are hugely important so you have to get rid of any individual selfishness or worries about playing too much. I've played a lot of games over the last three years so it's not always a bad thing to refresh, give my body a chance to recover and come back stronger.

"I didn't mind being taken out of the team earlier in the season because I know I wasn't playing well enough to deserve to be playing. I was then using that time to rest my body, find my sharpness and my form again in training and get back to it and I feel like I've done that over the past month or two so hopefully now I can contribute to some more good performances."

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