Watch: Manager Aitor Karanka explains why he overhauled Forest’s midfield
Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka has explained why he decided it was necessary to overhaul the Reds’ midfield in the January transfer window.
The Reds made seven signings, including six on deadline day, and also added midfielder Ben Watson to the squad this week on a two-and-a-half year deal.
New boys Jack Colback and Adlene Guedioura started in deep-lying midfield positions as the two in Karanka’s favoured 4-2-3-1 formation in the 2-0 loss at Fulham on Saturday (February 3).
Karanka explained why he felt more stability was needed in that part of the pitch.
He said: “The middle of the pitch is important along with defenders and the goalkeeper as that forms the spine.
“I’ve always said I would have young players up front and mix them in with experience.
“I think there was a complacency problem before as no-one had responsibilities and when no-one has that, no-one can demand anything from others.
“Now, everyone knows their responsibilities and demand more from each other.
“With this blend now, we could have a very good run of results and I hope can start in the game against Hull at the City Ground on Saturday (February 10).”
The Reds are also linked with Greek international goalkeeper Stefanos Kapino and Spanish left-backs Javier Garrido and Juan Fuentes, all of which are free agents.
Karanka confirmed Forest would only sign one of the two left-backs they have been linked with.
Forest this week added Ben Watson to their squad after his contract with Watford was terminated and Karanka thinks he will bring leadership to the City Ground.
Karanka said: “He can bring a lot of things – he’s an experienced player, he knows the league and he knows how to get promotion as does Guedioura.
“He’s a great character, professional and leader on the pitch.
“I had a one-on-one with him for 30, 35 minutes and you can sense he is a proper leader and is the kind of player you need on the pitch and around the changing room.”