Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka has explained why he dropped Michael Dawson ahead of Saturday’s draw with Leeds United, as reported by Nottingham Live.
34-year-old Dawson helped Forest keep a clean sheet as they brushed Bolton Wanderers aside last Wednesday, but was omitted from the starting eleven at Elland Road.
He was replaced in the heart of defence by Danny Fox, who had to be withdrawn during the game after sustaining an injury.
Dawson’s aerial dominance in the midweek win over Phil Parkinson’s Trotters earned him plaudits from supporters and many were stunned to see him omitted. Karanka has explained why the decision was taken to select Tobias Figueiredo and Fox in the centre of defence:
“With Michael (Dawson) we were defending really well (at Bolton), but Tobias (Figueiredo) is a little bit quicker than Michael and I wanted to press them high.
“When we are trying to put a defensive line higher up the pitch, I prefer to play with Tobias.
“But once again, when Michael came on the pitch he did very well.
“I am really pleased because I have four very good central defenders.”
Karanka’s side took the lead against Leeds but were pegged back by a controversial equaliser from Whites marksman Kemar Roofe. Despite the blow, the Forest boss was encouraged by his side’s display:
“It wasn’t just the defenders, it was the consistency and commitment from everybody.
“To play against this team, in front of this atmosphere and not concede many chances shows how good they were working.
“Knowing that commitment and knowing that consistency, when we play our style we will win more games.
“Now we have to do it every single Saturday, not just against these kind of teams. We have to go to other places and not lose points against teams further down the table.”
The Reds will now be preparing to take on League One outfit Burton Albion in the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night, with a place in the quarter-final at stake.