Karanka stokes up Forest stars for big push
MANAGER WANTS TEAM TO CONTINUE IMPROVING
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