Adlene Guedioura received high praise from Nottingham Forest boss Aitor Karanka following the midfielder’s man of the match display in the Reds’ 1-1 draw with West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday night.
The 32-year-old scored one at The City Ground and came close to a spectacular second with a speculative long-range strike from inside his own half, which Baggies stopper Sam Johnstone did well to keep out.
And Reds manager Karanka was delighted with Guedioura’s performance.
“I’ve known Adlene since I arrived in the Championship during his time at Watford,” said Karanka. “Last season I saw he had a real lack of confidence but now he is a completely different player and he is the player I knew three years ago.
“I told him at the end of last season to go away, have a good rest and come back as the player we know he can be. The fans love him here and you can see now that he is confident and enjoying his football along with his teammates.
“We feel like we’ve increased the quality in the attacking positions but we can’t forget that we haven’t won this game. We have to take our chances and make sure that we win the games we deserve to win.”
Forest led through Guedioura’s 59th-minute strike but Matt Phillips levelled for the visitors with three minutes to play. Karanka thought his Reds side deserved victory for their display.
“Frustration is probably the main feeling after that but I am pleased and proud of the performance,” said Karanka. “I said before the game that West Brom are a very good team but we were better than them and we should have won the match.
“We had chances to score in the first half and after our goal but once you don’t get that crucial second goal, you can get penalised for one mistake against a quality side. I need to be optimistic though because if we play the way we did tonight (Tuesday) then we’ll win a lot of games this season.”
And added: “We’ve been training well since the start of pre-season and that is why I wanted to get all of the business done before the start of the season. We’ve been working together as a group for five or six weeks now and have shown how able we are to play really good football.”