Why Nottingham Forest’s last trip to Bolton Wanderers remains fresh in Aitor Karanka’s memory

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As Aitor Karanka prepares his Nottingham Forest side for the trip to Bolton Wanderers, the previous meeting between the two teams remains fresh in his memory.

In the last game of last season, Forest took on a Bolton side fighting to retain their Championship status. Two goals in the last five minutes sealed a 3-2 win and mission completed for the hosts.

And, ahead of their next meeting at the University of Bolton Stadium on Wednesday night, Karanka says the experience of narrowly escaping the trap door will motivate Wanderers to avoid a similar situation this time around.

“It will be a tough game,” he said. “We played against them in the last game of last season and we know how tough that game was at the time.

“That game for them was their life and they will want to win every game this season to not arrive to that position.

“It will be a tough game but we need to recover our intensity and playing at our intensity we have showed that we can beat teams like Middlesbrough, nearly beat West Brom who are much better than them, and other teams at the top of the table.”

Karanka wants his side to get back to that intensity which saw them go on a seven game unbeaten run prior to the international break, which ended with a 2-1 defeat at home to Norwich City on Saturday.

“It is something that we are working on at the training ground,” said Karanka. “In the last two weeks we worked really well but had players who went to play for their national teams.

“It is not an excuse, but if you are away with the national team and do not play or train, you would have that time to rest and you end up coming back worse.”

And added: “But for sure, we will be better than last Saturday because the team in the last month was really good. I want to think that last Saturday was an accident and to keep going.”