MX23RW : Tuesday, October 16 15:01:37
Oct 6, 2018 at 3pm UK at ​Riverside Stadium (Middlesbrough)
Middlesbrough
0-2
Nott'm ForestNottingham Forest
FT(HT: 0-0)
Lolley (49'), Grabban (77')
Robinson (80')

Karanka thrilled with Forest win on Middlesbrough return

Goals from Joe Lolley and Lewis Grabban lift Forest to fifth.

Manager Aitor Karanka spoke of his relief at Nottingham Forest securing a 2-0 victory at former club Middlesbrough.

Forest threw away leads in their previous two Championship matches against Blackburn and Millwall, having to settle for a 2-2 draw on both occasions.

However, Karanka’s team won at a canter at the Riverside, despite Jack Robinson being red-carded in the closing stages for a second bookable offence.

Joe Lolley and Lewis Grabban scored to lift Forest up to fifth and Karanka said: “In the last week we were winning at Blackburn and against Millwall and we couldn’t manage to win those games.

“Today has been perfect. We were winning, we managed the game even when we had one player less.

“I am really pleased for the players because we are now in the position we deserve to be.

“We are fifth. The position in the table is a reflection of the team and now we are there because we deserve to be. The team is improving, the team is growing and that is the main thing.”

Karanka left Middlesbrough in March 2017 after a three-year tenure during which time he achieved a promotion and suffered relegation from the Premier League.

He added: “This club is and will always be special for me, it was always be in my heart, but when I come here as an opponent it is only three points.

“It will always be special for me. It is true that the first return was incredible. I had a good experience with everyone in the stadium.

“Every time I come back here will be special.

“They have everything you need. They have a very good squad, a very good manager and a very good crowd.”

Middlesbrough were flat, putting in a below-par performance and conceded at home for the first time this season.

Manager Tony Pulis admitted: “I don’t think anybody saw that performance coming, but that’s the way the league is, we’re not going to be perfect every week and it brings everybody down to earth in respect of the expectations.

“It’s a tough league and everybody in every game turns up.

“We need to be much more clinical and we need to do something in that respect in the final third.”

Boro were on the back foot from the off, though Forest did not score until early in the second half, Lolley firing home after Daniel Ayala had been turned in the centre of the pitch by Daryl Murphy.

At 1-0 Pulis made a triple substitution with Britt Assombaloga among those sent on, but the former Forest striker missed a great chance.

Pulis added: “I thought we started really, really poorly, the first 20 minutes we were like a bag of potatoes, we were so sloppy and so on the back foot, we never, never got going.

“The goal was a dreadful goal and very unlike us. Then you need to score, you need to get back into the game as quickly as you can and the big, big point, the turning point was Britt’s chance.

“I think if Britt scores then on, what was it, 60-odd minutes? Then it’s a different atmosphere and a different approach from the team.”

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd128132113825
2West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom1273231171424
3Leeds UnitedLeeds126512291323
4Middlesbrough12642146822
5Nottingham ForestNott'm Forest124711713419
6Sheffield WednesdaySheff Weds125431918119
7Brentford124622014618
8Derby CountyDerby125341513218
9Norwich CityNorwich125341515018
10Blackburn RoversBlackburn124621415-118
11Swansea CitySwansea12453129317
12Wigan AthleticWigan125251416-217
13Bristol City124441614216
14Stoke CityStoke124441718-116
15Aston Villa123632020015
16Bolton WanderersBolton124351015-515
17Birmingham CityBirmingham122821312114
18Queens Park RangersQPR12426919-1014
19Rotherham UnitedRotherham12327919-1011
20Millwall122461319-610
21Reading122371520-59
22Preston North EndPreston122371824-69
23Ipswich TownIpswich121651118-79
24Hull City122281019-98

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