Video: Karanka wants his players to go on holiday on a high
Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka has said the Reds’ final game of the season has been ‘difficult to prepare for’.
Speaking at his final pre-match press conference of the season as Forest take on Bolton at the Macron Stadium on Sunday (May 6), Karanka acknowledged the fact the Trotters have it all to play for as they fight to stay in the Championship.
Nottingham Forest currently sit 17th in the Championship and could finish as high as 15th with a win and if Sheffield Wednesday and QPR drop points.
Bolton are 23rd in the league, one point adrift from safety but can survive if they get a result against Forest and other results go their way on the final day.
But Karanka wants his players to go into the summer break on a high and with a win.
He said: “It’s not an easy game to prepare because we need to try to win the game to end on a high.
“But it is true that this is a game where we are playing for nothing and they are playing for their lives.
“If we beat them, it’s not going to be a nice Sunday but we have to respect everybody and try to win the game.
“Having said that, I want the players to go on holiday with all our work done.
“We need to show we’ve done our best, like we did against Cardiff who are playing for promotion, like against Barnsley or Bristol City last weekend.
“I want us to keep doing the same and I want that feeling of winning the final game because it’s then the best way to go on holiday.”
Video: Fox on Forest’s, and his own personal, highlights this season
Defender Danny Fox said he has been ‘disappointed’ with Forest’s season and wanted the Reds fighting for a place in the top half of the table.
He said: “As a whole, we’ve been inconsistent – I think we’ve shown in bits and pieces the team we can be against teams who have been doing well in the league.
“We’ve let our standards drop in a numerous amount of games which is why we are where we are in the league at the moment.
“We need to be more consistent if we are to get into the top half of the table and challenge for the play-offs.
“We want to finish on a high against Bolton but it will be tough as they will be at it with the crowd right behind them as well.”
Fox said he was pleased to have nailed down a consistent place in the starting 11 since Aitor Karanka came in in January.
Fox said: “My season was frustrating to begin with, to come back from injury to then fracture my knee was a bitter blow but the medical staff and management were really good with me.
“Since the new manager has come in, I feel as though I have found a new lease of life playing every game I’ve been fit for as a centre-half.
“I’m looking forward to next season already because I’ve only really played half a season when you look at the amount of games I’ve played so I’ll look after myself as much as possible over the summer and come back and hopefully hit the ground running.”