Aitor Karanka asked if Nottingham Forest can reach play-offs

Aitor Karanka was all smiles at his first official press conference after being named as the new Nottingham Forest manager. Aitor Karanka Press Conference, The City Ground, Nottingham, UK,...

Nottingham Forest will be targeting the Championship play-off places, but they have work to do.

Aitor Karanka, Manager of Nottingham Forest looks on prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Millwall and Nottingham Forest at The Den on December 29, 2018 in London, England.

Aitor Karanka has told Sky Sports' live post-match coverage of Nottingham Forest's Championship clash with West Brom (broadcast on 12/2 from 19:30) that he hopes that his old side will make the play-offs, and insisted that they have everything they need to make the top six.

Following the 2-2 draw with the Baggies, Forest sit ninth in the table and five points back of the play-off spots. However, they have played at least one more game than a lot of their rivals.

 

However, Martin O'Neill's men arguably sent a message to their promotion hopefuls with a very good performance at the Hawthorns. They were only denied the three points because West Brom were awarded a controversial penalty - Dwight Gayle certainly appeared to dive - and Forest did not get one moments later when Joe Lolley was surely being fouled.

But while they may have plenty of ground to make up, Karanka - who left the City Ground last month - backed his former club to get themselves into the mix come the end of the campaign.

Martin O'Neill, Manager of Nottingham Forest during the Sky Bet Championship match at City Ground on January 26, 2019 in Nottingham, England.

"I hope so. I hope so, especially after their performance today," he told Sky Sports, when asked if they can make the top six. "Another point. They have an experienced manager with a lot of knowledge. They have the squad. They have the crowd behind them. So I hope that they can do it."

What should certainly encourage Forest fans is the fact that they do not face another top six side until mid-April when they travel to Sheffield United. 

Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka looks on at Pride Park Stadium on December 17, 2018 in Derby, England.

They actually had a very good record against the top three sides under Karanka. But on paper, they have the kind of run-in that a lot of their rivals would probably be envious of. 

So it is definitely too soon to write Forest off just yet.

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