Nottingham Forest appoint Aitor Karanka as new manager

Nottingham Forest have named Mark Warburton's successor.

Nottingham Forest appoint Aitor Karanka as new manager
Nottingham Forest appoint Aitor Karanka as new manager. (picture: Getty Images / Jan Kruger)

Nottingham Forest have appointed former Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka as the club's new manager on a two-and-a-half-year deal. 

The 44-year-old has come in to replace Mark Warburton who was dismissed by the club following a 1-0 defeat to Sunderland at The City Ground just over a week ago. 

Karanka does have a considerable amount of Championship experience from his time with Boro and achieved promotion to the Premier League in the 2015/16 campaign. However, his time at the Riverside did come to a disappointing end as the club struggled against relegation back to the second tier. 

The Spaniard, formerly assistant manager to José Mourinho at Liga Santander giants Real Madrid, is known for implementing a more defensive style of play. However, this was very effective with Boro in the Championship and everyone connected with Forest will now be hoping he can achieve similar success at The City Ground. 

Karanka an 'exceptional candidate' 

Forest chairman Nicholas Randall QC has been helping the club in their search for a new manager ever since Warburton's dismissal. A number of candidates were linked with the vacancy including Paul Heckingbottom, Nigel Clough, Garry Monk, Nigel Pearson and many more. 

He told the club's official site that he was delighted to secure Karanka's signature. He said: "We are very pleased to have reached terms with Aitor Karanka to become the manager of Nottingham Forest. He is an exceptional candidate who fully subscribes to the vision of the club's owners and Board for the future of the club."

He added: "Our objective is clear: we want to continue building this fantastic football club and lead it to a bright future. The wonderful supporters of the club deserve success and a return to the Premier League.

"We are all working hard off the pitch to achieve this goal and we believe that Aitor will ensure that we can get the job done on the field of play."

He was also keen to pay tribute to youth team manager Gary Brazil and his staff who had taken control of first team affairs whilst the club searched for their new manager. He said: "I want to thank Gary Brazil, his staff and the players for their professionalism and loyalty in the last few days. In particular, the performance against Arsenal was truly outstanding and shows the potential of this fantastic club."

A 'sleeping giant'?

A number of different managers have arrived at The City Ground with the hope that they can lead the club back to the top flight after a long wait but have all ultimately failed. This is shown by the fact that Karanka is the Reds' tenth full-time manager since Billy Davies' first dismissal in June 2011. 

Forest are currently sat 14th in the Championship and any hopes of a promotion push in the remainder of the season seem unrealistic considering they are 11 points off the play-off places as it stands. However, under the management of Karanka, everyone connected with the club will be hoping that the team can compete at the top end of the table next season. 

Forest's famous 4-2 win over Arsenal in the FA Cup third round at The City Ground on Sunday afternoon was a reminder of the huge potential the club has to be a success. 

Karanka's first game as Forest boss will come at The City Ground on Saturday evening as the Reds host promotion hopefuls Aston Villa in front of the television cameras.