Nottingham Forest players told to ‘channel their frustration’ against QPR at City Ground


Mark Warburton has told his Nottingham Forest players to “channel their frustration” when they take on QPR on Saturday.

But the Reds boss has cautioned the club’s incredible record against Rangers at the City Ground will count for little when the two teams go head-to-head this weekend.

Forest have never lost to the Hoops on home turf – an unbeaten streak which covers 33 matches across 83 years.

Warburton’s men, though, go into the Championship clash on the back of Tuesday night’s 3-1 defeat at Reading which put an end to their hopes of recording three successive victories and cost them the chance of moving into the play-off spots.

Meanwhile, their opponents have toppled high-flying Wolves and Sheffield United in their last two outings.

Eager to right some wrongs after a lacklustre first half performance and disappointing result in midweek, Warburton also wants his side to finish on a high before the latest international break.

“It’s very important. The one where we lost to Leeds here (back in August) ruined your two weeks – certainly it took me three or four days at home,” he said.

“All you’re thinking about is ‘why? Why was the performance like this?’. You’re analysing.

Eric Lichaj in action against Hull

“The fact is it’s important. A number of boys will be going off with England, Eric (Lichaj) with the USA, Daryl (Murphy) with Ireland and Jamie (Ward) with Northern Ireland, wherever they’re going around the globe.

“You want to go into it getting points on the board and as high up the table as possible, going with a real feelgood factor.

“We know we’ve been playing some really good football, we know we missed an opportunity on Tuesday night to get into the top six, so there are frustrations there. You have to channel that frustration and you put it into the performance against QPR.”

Wary of taking on a Rangers side who will make the trip north full of confidence, Warburton says their opponents’ last two results carry more weight than the previous decades of history between the teams.

“It’s one of those,” he said of Forest’s home record against their London rivals. “Jason Cummings has never scored against QPR – well, he’s never played against them.

“You can have all these sorts of facts and figures.

“They come here off the back of two very good results, beating two teams flying high in the top six. They will be very confident.

“Ian Holloway will have the team ready, motivated and organised. They’ve got a number of good players, good individuals within the team.

Nottingham Forest manager Mark Warburton

“As always, you have to fully respect your opponent. You have to prepare well, you have to analyse, which we have just done today and we’ll do it again tomorrow and again on Saturday.

“You have to go into the game at three o’clock knowing that you’re well prepared.

“There’s a lot of respect for a very tough encounter coming up. But it’s the game before the international break, so every team will be very, very keen to go into that break off the back of a good performance.”

Although left to rue missing out on moving into the top six in midweek, Warburton remains guarded about his ultimate aims for the campaign.

“You don’t sit there at the start of the season and make rash predictions,” he said. “You don’t sit here and say to the media, ‘we’re going to finish here’.

“What you can do is say, ‘we’re going to be highly competitive, as we can be every single game and the aim will be to finish as high as we possibly can come the end of the season’. That’s all you can do.

“It’s foolish to make rash predictions.

“The squad is young, hungry and with good, experienced senior pros as well. They’re getting better every week.

“It’s the fine margins. You have to recognise the need to take your chances and claim your rewards, and see where that leaves you.”



…continue on post

LEAVE A REPLY