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.
"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.
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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