Aitor Karanka concedes Nottingham Forest got lucky against Birmingham City

Forest blogger Lee Clarke is calling on fans to roar the team to Championship survival.
Forest blogger Lee Clarke is calling on fans to roar the team to Championship survival.

Boss Aitor Karanka confessed Nottingham Forest were “lucky” to draw with Birmingham City after they came back from 2-0 down.

Forest pulled a goal back through sub Joe Lolley’s first touch after coming on, before Daryl Murphy capped a fantastic fightback with an 87th minute leveller.

The Blue had strode into a commanding lead thanks to a first half goal from Lukas Jutkiewicz’s and a Che Adams goal in the 72nd minute.

Karanka said his side could consider themselves lucky not to have lost the encounter.

“We were lucky. We think and we believe that we can score until the last second but it’s not enough,” he said.

“We can’t keep fooling ourselves, thinking it is enough because in the Championship you need to win games, you need to play much better.

“It is true that we are unbeaten but we need to improve a lot, we need to work a lot because the game has been very bad for me.”

This was the second game in a row where a poor first half performance put Forest in trouble after last week’s 2-2 draw away to Wigan, and Karanka admitted that his side were definitely second best against Garry Monk’s Birmingham City team.

“They had more energy than us,” confessed the 44 year old.

“They pressured us with their two strikers and they won every single second ball.

“At half time I told [my players] that we had to play our style. We had to try and play, especially with the players who we have, with the ball on the grass and at the end, I think we tried.”

Karanka made six changes to his side from last week’s clash with Wigan and it was up to three players who dropped to the bench- Joao Carvalho, Joe Lolley and Ben Osborn- to come off the bench and give Forest a lift. Lolley in particular had a big impact on the game and Karanka said he was very happy with the effect all three of his substitutions had.

“I am very pleased with the impact of Joe, with the impact of Joao and the impact of Ben Osborn,” said Karanka.

“But the players who should have an impact are the players who start the games so that is the main thing for me, to start the games in the proper way, to approach the games in the proper way and to try and win.”