Nottingham Forest: Aitor Karanka says players affected by speculation about his future

Aitor Karanka in the dugout for Nottingham Forest
Aitor Karanka has been in charge of Nottingham Forest since 8 January

Nottingham Forest boss Aitor Karanka says speculation about his future has had an adverse effect on his players.

The Reds have failed to win in five matches, with the Spaniard coming under intense scrutiny ahead of Tuesday's visit of Championship leaders Leeds.

Saturday's defeat by Millwall saw the Reds slip to 10th in the table, six points off the play-off places.

Asked if his players had been mentally affected by the uncertainty, Karanka said: "For sure, for sure."

"Especially in the first half (against Millwall) we were not the team that we are used to being.

"I don't want to say names, but players who had been really important this season made silly mistakes so it was because everyone was affected."

The 45-year-old remained defiant immediately after the loss in London, saying he wants to remain as Forest boss for "many years".

However, as he addressed the media ahead of Leeds' visit, Karanka said he could feel that his players were "disappointed".

"They know we are together and we can't forget that we were in a play-off position a few weeks ago," he told BBC Radio Nottingham.

Forest had climbed as high as fifth in early December but, after then losing to Preston, they followed both a hard-fought stalemate at Derby and dramatic draw at high-flying Norwich with defeats by QPR and Millwall respectively.

"We know that we were a really good team three weeks ago and we will be again in the future," Karanka said.

"After two days (since the defeat at Millwall) I hope that everyone is much better and everyone knows how important the game is."

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