The ‘friendly’ rivalry between Nottingham Forest’s strikers

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Nottinghamshire Live – NOTTINGHAMSHIRE. Karim Ansarifard on joining the club and waiting for his first start for the Reds.

Karim Ansarifard is chomping at the bit to make his first start for Nottingham Forest.

However, the striker accepts it is going to be tough to unseat Championship top scorer Lewis Grabban from the Reds’ starting XI.

Ansarifard has been restricted to four substitute appearances for the club so far, after penning a one-and-a-half-year deal a month ago.

He says there is plenty of “friendly competition” with fellow forwards Grabban and Daryl Murphy, with the former’s 14 league goals leading the way in the scoring charts.

But regardless how long he gets out on the pitch for, the Iranian says he will continue to give his all for the cause.

“For sure, it would be great for me to do that (start a game) but it is the choice of the manager,” Ansarifard told the club’s matchday programme.

“We have to respect that and all I can do is make sure that I keep on working hard and when my time comes I have to try my best, whether it is for one minute or 90 minutes.

“He is a brilliant player, so is Murph, and all of the players here are very good.

“We have a lot of quality and it gives us lots of competition, lots of friendly competition and everyone is working for the team, which is really important.

“It is friendly competition. That makes us work harder to do well, even in each training session and then to perform well in the games.”

Ansarifard has so far come off the bench in the games against Sheffield United, Hull City, Aston Villa and in Saturday’s 2-0 triumph over Ipswich Town as Aitor Karanka’s side moved up to fifth in the table.

The 28-year-old made one substitute appearance for Olympiacos early on this term, against Burnley in the Europa League, before his contract was terminated in August.

Otherwise, he had been limited to the odd match for his country while waiting for work permit approval to seal his move to the City Ground.

Now it has all gone through, he says he is enjoying his first taste of English football.

“It was good, a fantastic experience for me. I am still learning and I hope that I can get used to this league even more,” Ansarifard said.

“When I went away with the national team I played there, but as a club player my last game was when I was at Olympiacos.

“After almost three months, to get out on the pitch was great.

“It was a brilliant feeling. I had been waiting for a while to play, but I am really happy now that I can play.”

And the front man adds his new team-mates immediately made him feel welcome as they all work towards achieving their promotion dream.

“They are really nice guys and lovely people,” he added.

“From the beginning, they have been helpful to me and I really like them.

“I am really happy that I joined this club. I can achieve my goals here in my own life.

“Nottingham Forest are one of the historic and good clubs and we are all working hard, doing well in the games to get promoted to the Premier League.”


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