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Karanka must manage Lolley carefully to keep him beyond the January window

Joe Lolley’s form so far this season has caught the eye and Aitor Karanka has sent the winger a message over his future at the City Ground, as per the Nottingham Post.

Karanka said: “If I were one of the clubs (interested) and I saw his first half performance (against Derby), I would not be looking to sign him.

“He needs to think about here. He needs to forget everything else and work hard to improve. The better he plays in future in games, the better contract he will have.”

Of course Forest fans will be pleased to hear their manager issue such a forthright message to a key player over their future, but with Premier League clubs such as Watford reportedly sniffing around, losing Lolley next month must be a genuine fear.

(Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

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Karanka is right to preach patience to Lolley, but if the lure of the Premier League is still there when the window opens, it is sure to be a temptation for a player who was not given a fair crack of the whip in the top flight with Huddersfield.

Forest are of course in the play-off mix, but Lolley may prefer to guarantee himself a return to the top flight as opposed to gambling he can get there with his team mates and it remains to be seen how Karanka’s tough love approach works out.

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