Middlesbrough v Nottm Forest: Aitor Karanka returns with praise for Tony Pulis

Former Boro manager Aitor Karanka is set to return to The Riverside today a year after being sacked by the club.

Aitor Karanka: Back at the Riverside.

The Spaniard, who now manages Nottingham Forest, was complimentary of his old club and said that his counterpart, Tony Pulis, was a better manager.

He said: “I am learning still. I cannot compare with Tony, because of his track record, because of what he has achieved. He is a really good man and a really good manager.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“I do not think we are similar. He is more experienced than me and we do have different styles. We are not the same, not least because he is much better than me and more experienced than me.”

Pulis, of course, has a managerial career stretching back to 1992 and he had been in charge of nine clubs before joining the Boro in December last year.

Karanka also spoke about his plan to try to stop Adama Traore. Boro’s star man has been a nightmare to defend against, scoring twice in his last four games.

Karaka said: “I have a plan, but it is still difficult to stop him. It is difficult to stop him because, when he is confident, he is a player who can make the difference.

“We all know about him and it is important to remember that he has good players behind him.”

Pulis is hoping for a bumper crowd for a ‘massive’ game against an out of form Forest.

He said: “We’ve got to be better than what we were on Monday (at Burton Albion). We could have got beat. I’m very, very pleased with taking a point. I’m pleased that the lads kept going, and they did keep going.

“The fans were fantastic. They pay good money to come and follow their team and we have to understand that.

“Now what we need to do is get a good crowd there on Saturday. We’re still in the play-offs despite that draw.”