Karanka stokes up For­est stars for big push


Nottingham Post - - SPORT -

AI­TOR Karanka has urged his Not­ting­ham For­est play­ers to “keep go­ing and keep grow­ing” as they look to forge a Cham­pi­onship pro­mo­tion push.

The Reds face fel­low top-six hope­fuls Stoke City at the City Ground to­day, when they will be look­ing to ex­tend their re­cent improve­ment in form that has lifted them into the play-offs places.

While they did slip up against high-fly­ing Nor­wich, For­est have oth­er­wise taken 10 points from their past five league games, in­clud­ing wins over pro­mo­tion challengers Mid­dles­brough and Sh­effield United and a re­spectable point - that might have been three - against Leeds, at El­land Road.

When asked if For­est would now be tar­get­ing a place in the top two, Karanka said his side would take things one game at a time - but he does be­lieve the key to forg­ing a pro­mo­tion push is for the Reds to work hard to main­tain their improve­ment.

“We need to keep go­ing in the same way,” said Karanka.

“We have been work­ing to­gether for three or four months, as a squad. We have changed 17 play­ers and we are four points off the top.

“We need to keep go­ing and keep grow­ing on and off the pitch.

“We are work­ing hard on the train­ing ground and we need to play ev­ery game with the same level of con­sis­tency. If you are con­sis­tent in the Cham­pi­onship, you al­ways have a chance.”

Karanka in­sists For­est will not put too much em­pha­sis on se­cur­ing a place in the top two, in the short term.

“We do not look at that, we just look at the game com­ing up on Satur­day,” he said.

“It is Stoke this week­end and you can­not look at what will hap­pen in one or two months.

Be­cause we are look­ing at one game.

“The main thing for us is to win the game on Satur­day and then if we are sixth, great. If we are fifth, that is even bet­ter. And if we climb to third, that is bet­ter again.

“The higher we get in the ta­ble, the bet­ter. But we will al­ways be think­ing about the fol­low­ing game and no more.

“It is im­por­tant to im­prove and to grow, be­cause this league never stops. It was dif­fi­cult to pre­pare in re­cent weeks, for ex­am­ple.

“It was not easy to pre­pare for Leeds away and then to pre­pare for a game at Bur­ton. Then again we had to pre­pare for the home game against Sh­effield United. But we are do­ing well, the play­ers are work­ing well and we are mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion.”

Not­ting­ham For­est man­ager Ai­tor Karanka is look­ing for more progress

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