Nottingham Forest supporters have been pretty despondent in recent times after seeing their team bow out of the Carabao Cup at the hands of lower league opposition on Tuesday night.
Aitor Karanka’s men went into their encounter with League One side Burton Albion as hot favourites to reach the last eight of the competition, with their 1-1 draw at Leeds United at the weekend giving them plenty of confidence for the trip to the Pirelli Stadium. Yet the East Midlands giants came up short against Nigel Clough’s side as goals from Scott Fraser and Jake Hesketh, alongside a Saidy Janko own goal, inspired the Brewers to a 3-2 victory, with efforts from Lewis Grabban and Arvin Appiah not enough to keep Forest in the competition.
Thus, there have been many frustrated Forest supporters up and down the country in recent times, several of whom have taken to Twitter in recent times to turn on manager Karanka, with many lamenting the negative style of play implemented by the ex-Middlesbrough boss.
Yet much of that frustration may well have boiled down to the disappointment of Tuesday night, as there is little doubting that this season under Karanka represents Forest’s best chance of promotion to the Premier League in many a year.
Ultimately, the East Midlands heavyweights have really struggled in recent years for consistency and stability in the Championship, with it back in 2011 under Billy Davies the last time they reached the play-off places.
Since then, managers and owners have come and gone in what has been a turbulent time for the club, to the point that they have recorded just one top ten finish in the last seven years, and almost lost their second tier status back in 2017, eventually ending up just one place above the drop.
Thus, there have been many testing times for Forest fans over the years, so to have a team sat seventh in the Championship table having lost just twice so far this term should be exactly the respite those supporters needed.
After all, Karanka did an excellent job in getting Boro back to the Premier League a matter of years ago despite many before him failing to deliver the goods, and while things didn’t go particularly well thereafter, he clearly knows what it takes to get a big club with big expectations out of the Championship.
Yes, there have been times whereby it hasn’t been particularly pretty, but in losing just twice they are continuously picking up points and building momentum – being difficult to beat in the Championship is one step towards mounting a promotion bid, and Karanka clearly knows how to set a side up in that way.
So while those fans slating Karanka for Tuesday’s Carabao Cup exit are well within their rights to do that, those calling for his head seems to be more of a reaction to that result than where their side are currently at under the Spaniard – after all, they are just a few points off the top six.
Forest fans… what do you think? Let us know!