Former Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka has been interviewed by Portuguese newspaper Record this weekend.
The Spaniard, who left the Championship side in January, says he’s resting a little before he gets ready to accept a new job.
Karanka wasn’t having a bad campaign before leaving Forest, being close to the playoff spots. That’s why Record asked the real reason he parted ways with the club.
“It was my decision,” Aitor Karanka told Record. “Everything started well, with some restructuring because the team had saved themselves from relegation in the last fixture of the previous season. And to go from salvation in the last fixture to promotion in one season is practically impossible.
“That’s why we talked about a project two and a half years, just as we had done at Middlesbrough. In the second year there were changes, uncertainty in the players and the rumours that began to circulate. I saw that it was better to leave to see if, with my exit, the players were released from the pressure created and were able to get in the promotion playoff zone.”
Regarding having the club’s fans by his side during the departure process, he said: “First it’s a feeling of great joy. Managers, players and presidents go through clubs, but the fans are the ones who are always there. The relationship with the supporters was always fantastic and that’s what we take in these experiences. I was sorry to leave Nottingham Forest because of the relationship I had with supporters and players.”
Record mentions João Carvalho, Diogo Gonçalves and Gil Dias, all Portuguese players who worked with Karanka, and asked him if it was him who demanded such signings or if they were just opportunities in the market.
“In England there’s the position of manager, whose main function is the signing of players. It’s normal that when there’s the opportunity to sign players of this quality… you have to make these signings. Tobias Figueiredo was stopped practically the second half of the season due to an injury, but was very good until then; with me João Carvalho played almost all the games and made a lot of difference; Diogo Gonçalves started very well, but the championship is very physical and maybe he hasn’t adapted so well.
“But he’s a spectacular professional and I’m sure that this experience was good for his future because he has quality to spare. I’m sure that he’ll have a good performance for his next club. Gil Dias made very good games but by the time I left, the club decided that he should leave too and went to Olympiacos. The truth is that when the opportunity to sign these players arose, I had no doubt.”
They also asked the manager if João Carvalho, who used to show great potential in Portugal, deserves more than the Championship.
“At the age of 22, and in a league as competitive as the Championship, João Carvalho made the difference. With me, he almost always played. I’m convinced that he has a bright future ahead of him. This season in England was great for him because I’m sure that it’s better to play what he played in England than not to have continuity at Benfica. He remains a great promise for Portuguese football.”