Aitor Karanka says he’s looking forward to taking on Newcastle United
Former Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka is under pressure ahead of playing Newcastle United.
The Forest manager had significant backing in the summer transfer window, with a £25m net spend on players, plus a handful of notable loan deals.
The Forest fans haven’t been very impressed by the results or the management of the team and tactics.
Four draws and only one win in the first five Championship games wasn’t the start expected and they currently lie 13th.
Aitor Karanka was fortunate to see his team reach this stage of the League Cup, as the first round saw a lucky home win against lowly League Two club Bury.
The Forest manager made 11 changes that day but struggled to a 1-1 draw and sneaked through on penalties.
Aitor Karanka says ‘To play against teams like Newcastle is good for everybody’ at Nottingham Forest and obviously he will make nothing like 11 changes this time.
I’m sure everybody at Forest will be looking at this match as one that could spark their season into life, whilst Newcastle fans wonder just what kind of team Rafa can put out, with Man City away on Saturday and a number of players already ruled out tonight anyway.
“We need to go game by game and think about the Newcastle game.
“It is in the cup, it is a different competition. To win one game, we need to be ourselves, play in the way that we train and be the compact team that we have to be.
“It is nice to come up against a Premier League team.
“Both cups are important because two or three weeks ago, we were playing against Bury and now we are playing against Newcastle.
“If we go through to the next round, maybe it is another big club. It is good to rotate the players and have everybody motivated, because to play against teams like Newcastle is good for everybody.
“They have a very good, experienced manager and they are a big club with very good players.
“But, even when we played against Bury or when we play against Newcastle, we need to be ourselves. The day that we are ourselves, we will compete against every single team, even Premier League teams.
“We need to be intelligent and to manage the game in the right way, to try to control the game with and without the ball. We can’t forget that they are a very good team so we have to be ourselves.
“I need to think 100% (about team selection) because we have a few injuries, I need to check a few players as I don’t know if they will be available tomorrow..
“Lewis Grabban, I don’t know if he will be fit tomorrow, Michael Dawson and Hillal Soudani as well.”
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