MARK WARBURTON has ordered his Nottingham Forest players not to panic as they edge closer to the Championship drop zone.
The former Rangers boss saw his side lose 1-0 to Cardiff City on Monday and they are now just one point above Tony Mowbray’s third-bottom Blackburn Rovers.
Warburton who left Ibrox in controversial circumstances in February, is still confident, though, Forest will pull clear.
As he prepared the team for the visit of promotion-chasing Reading on Saturday, he said: “You have to keep your belief.
“That was our message before the game at Cardiff – and it is the same now. Believe in yourself and in how good you can be.
“If you saw a lack of effort or desire, or players not wanting the ball, then fine.
“But the supporters were magnificent and they will have seen the desire and the pride in the shirt. I hope they appreciate that.
“However, we need to see more of that. We have to dig deep now. It was so frustrating not to get something out of the game.
“We talk about fine margins – and talk is cheap. I thought we saw enough – and I hope the supporters saw enough – to see that these players are fully committed.
“We just need that little bit of quality in the final third, to get what would have been a justified reward.”
Warburton added: “It’s hard to pick your words carefully in the dressing room, because we have three big games coming up.
“But if the players play like that and if they show that quality and commitment, I think we will be okay.
“We are obviously concerned. We need to recognise where we are. It is in our hands. If we play like that, if we deliver that level of performance in the next three games, we will be okay.
“We dominated in terms of possession and chances, we just need to take our rewards.
“Performances are a consequence of the hard work you put in every day on the training ground. We have to put our heads down and work.
“It is frustrating, because the players have given so much against Cardiff and to not get any reward for that is enormously disappointing.
“They are all huge games at this point. But we have to focus on ourselves.”