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Reaction: Nottingham Forest 0 Blues 0

We were more confident, and we played better.

Blues Head Coach Aitor Karanka was satisfied with his side’s performance as they picked up a point in the Sky Bet Championship.

The goalless draw away to Nottingham Forest ended a run of three defeats and came against a side who narrowly missed out on the play-offs last season.

Blues had chances to win the game following the break, having done an impressive containing job on their hosts in the first half.

And Karanka, having asked his players for a reaction to recent results, was pleased by how his team responded at the City Ground.

Speaking to the media he said: “I think it is a good point because we were coming from three difficult games having conceded goals from mistakes. The main thing today was to recover our consistency.

“The players had trained really well this week and it has been fantastic.”

Karanka returned to his former club for the first time and ensured they were left frustrated by a resilient away performance, with his side clearly developing as the Boxing Day encounter went on.

The 47-year-old explained: “I think we grew through the game, in the second-half we were better. It is true that at the beginning of the game [we weren’t as good] because of the last three games for us. The main thing today was to not make the mistakes of the last three games and then, when we were really organised and consistent on the pitch, in the second-half we played better. We were more confident, and we played better.”

Blues’ Head Coach was forced into a change at the interval with Alen Halilović taken off through injury and he explained the nature of the Croatian’s injury, as well as reserving praise for his replacement.

He told the press: “He [Alen Halilović] felt his groin and I didn’t want to take a risk. I don’t know if he will be ready for the game on Tuesday, but once again Gary Gardner has the energy with the ball from the bench and I am really pleased for him. He is someone you can trust.”

This change saw Karanka shuffle his pack and move winger Ivan Sanchez into the number ten position, with the boss praising his compatriot’s versatility and the team's application on the road.

He said: “He prefers to play on the wing, but I also know that he can play in that position and he did really well. I am pleased for all the players, for all the effort that they put in on the pitch. Forest’s position in the table doesn’t reflect how good they are because they are a really good team, with a top manager, so I knew it was going to be a tough game for us.”

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