Aitor Karanka was much liked at Nottingham Forest and Middlesbrough, even if his exit from the clubs wasn’t met with despair by all of the support.

Speaking to Marca, Karanka has told the Spanish newspaper that his time away from football, since leaving the Forest job in January, has allowed him to escape the frantic pace of the game in England and do things he wasn’t able to whilst he had a managerial job.

Marca put it to Karanka that he signed with Nottingham Forest with the intention of building a project which would see the club return to the Premier League.

It was a two and a half year deal, but the Spaniard didn’t complete half of that and he’s been asked to explain why.

“I was almost 10 months without training because I wanted a project that fulfilled me, I had many offers, but none had just convinced me and when Nottingham arrived, a historic team, with European Cups and so long without being in the Premier League, I was excited.

“The project was to try to do what we had done at Middlesbrough: a first season of acclimatisation because the team had been saved the previous year at the last second, take a leap of quality in the second and try to climb, probably, in the third, but during the process that project changed a bit. There was some uncertainty and I decided to leave at a time when the next coach had room to manoeuvre with the signings.”

The manager was then asked how he found the contradiction of receiving widespread support among the Nottingham Forest fans but still finding his future at the club being the subject of rumours and doubts.

“You see that the fans are excited, you beat the record of the last seasons, the stadium with 28,000 spectators all the matches and, nevertheless, that uncertainty is created and you see that it is transferred to the squad. The players felt that pressure, they saw that I was in their hands and, even though I was trying to free them, that caused them not to be at their level. In the end, I decided to step aside for the history of the club, for the fans, for the players.”