Former Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka has claimed that he left The City Ground as he felt it would be in the best interests of the club.
Karanka took charge of Forest on the 8th January 2018, and left just over a 12 months later – on the 11th January the following year – with the club seventh in the Championship, just four points outside the play-off places, after the Spaniard asked to be released from his contract.
Now, Karanka has revealed that he felt the club could benefit from a parting of the ways, with the timing of his exit allowing Forest time to strengthen in a way to suit the Spaniard’s replacement during the January transfer window.
After being asked in an interview with a print edition of Spanish newspaper AS about leaving The City Ground, Karanka revealed: “I started to see things that could affect the squad and decided to step aside because I saw that if I left, the club still had time to sign players in the winter market with a new coach and get to the play-offs.
“I thought that with my departure they could improve the team.”
Forest are already on their second manager since Karanka’s exit at the start of this year.
After Martin O’Neill oversaw the second half of the 2018/19 season, the Irishman was then sacked in the summer, with Frenchman Sabri Lamouchi announced as his replacement.
Karanka meanwhile has yet to return to management since leaving the club, although he was linked with the manager’s job at Huddersfield Town earlier in the summer.
This is quite an interesting claim from Karanka.
Forest did look to be going well under the Spaniard, and were certainly in the running for a play-off position under his management.
Given that is something that seemed to fall away somewhat, it does seem as though that is something that has backfired on both Karanka and Forest.
Even so, Karanka was not to know that at the time, so you have to admire his commitment to put the needs of the club ahead of his own in offering to step aside.