Karanka expects Forest to keep growing as season progress

Aitor Karanka believes his Nottingham Forest side have yet to peak this season following a professional 2-0 victory at Hull.

Forest are handily placed just outside the Sky Bet Championship play-off zone and have only lost once in 12 league games.

But boss Karanka said: “The main thing for me is that I can feel the improvement every single game.

“At the start of the season I said that this team needed time, because we changed a lot of players in the summer.

“But we are showing we are still improving and I’m really pleased.

“We want to keep growing and with this quality on the pitch we can do nice things.”

Forest controlled the game for long periods, with perhaps the biggest surprise being that they did not score in the first half.

But once Lewis Grabban seized upon a desperate mistake from Hull defender Jordy De Wijs after 61 minutes the game was effectively over.

Joe Lolley doubled Forest’s lead three minutes later, albeit via a deflection, but the scoreline could have been much more emphatic had goalkeeper David Marshall not produced a string of fine late saves.

Karanka said: “I’m over the moon. I’m very happy.

“We had lots of chances and we were really confident on the pitch, but I told them at half-time that we needed to be more clinical and ambitious.

“In the second half we were more ambitious. And with the quality we have on the pitch, we will score goals and win games.

“We were really good, but I know the Championship and maybe in one or two games we might not be as good.

“We need to keep the balance.”

Hull had gone unbeaten in three matches but they remain in deep relegation trouble, with only Ipswich below them in the table.

Manager Nigel Adkins felt De Wijs’ error was the decisive moment of the match.

He said: “We’ve gifted them the opportunity to win the game and they have gone and capitalised on that.

“It’s very frustrating. It’s another shocking goal from an individual mistake and then they get a deflection (for the second goal).

“It’s fair to say they got too much possession of the football for my liking in the first half. We started the second half well but it (Forest’s opening goal) was from our cross and then they’ve countered the length of the pitch.

“All of a sudden, the game that you are in goes against you.

“I was very disappointed with our final half (an hour) – we were nowhere near where we need to be – but you’ve got to give Forest credit as they passed the ball well.

“There was a good spirit going into the game – a desire to do well – but goals do change the complexion of things.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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