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Ex-Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka reveals why he has changed his style at Nottingham Forest ahead of Riverside return

Notingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka.
Notingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka.

Former Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka wants his Nottingham Forest side to attack when they visit the Riverside on Saturday afternoon.

The former Real Madrid defender managed Boro for three-and-a-half years, before being sacked in March 2017.

In that time, Karanka led the Teessiders back to the Premier League after seven years in the second tier.

Karanka's Boro were renowned for their defensive solidity, and won promotion to the top-flight conceding just 31 goals in the 2015/16 campaign.

But the Spaniard, who took charge of Forest in January, wants his new side to play more on the front foot.

“The players who I have here are different players to the ones I had in Middlesbrough. For that reason the style was different," said Karanka.

“To play attacking football, you need to have players to play with that intensity and that quality. We have that.

“You need a lot of players as well because, in the Championship, we have a game every few days.”

Karanka left Boro following a ten-game winless run in the Premier League, which left the club three points from safety and ultimately led to their relegation.

But the Spaniard insists he has no hard feelings and has fond memories of the North East.

“I do not feel as though I have a point to prove. I proved myself during my time there,” said Karanka.

“We had very good moments and I do not remember too many bad moments. We were in the Premier League and three points below 17th (when he left). I do not have any bad memories there.

The Spaniard received a warm reception from the Boro fans when he returned to the Riverside with Forest in April.

The hosts prevailed 2-0 on that occasion, but Karanka has improved his squad since then and is ready for the challenge.

“I am looking forward to it. I said always that there were three-and-a-half years that were amazing for me.

“I started my career there, so it is a club that will always be in my heart. I have a lot of friends there.

“I am really pleased to go back there. But, during 90 minutes, I will forget all about them.”

Meanwhile, Boro's Carabao Cup tie against Crystal Palace at the Riverside will be played on Wednesday October 31 (8pm KO).