Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka has been left reeling with his side, after Burton Albion beat Forest 3-2 to progress to the Quarter-Finals of the Carabao Cup for the first time in their history.
Victory would’ve meant that Nottingham Forest would be in the Quarter-Final of the League Cup for the first time in 25 years. However, an own goal from Saidy Janko and Burton Albion’s Scott Fraser and Jake Hesketh helped The Brewers win 3-2 in front of an excited crowd at the Pirelli Stadium. Goals from Lewis Grabban and Arvin Appiah were not enough for Forest, leaving manager Karanka fuming.
“I am very angry, because I feel embarrassed and I feel really bad, because a team that is in League One and a team that has played four games in the last ten days, with the same players, were much better than us,” Karanka told the Nottingham Post.
“They were much stronger than us, they wanted every ball more than us and that is it – it is down to the intensity and the hunger you have. They were much more hungry than us.
“I cannot understand this and I need to analyse things. I do not want to say something that I will regret tomorrow.
“But I feel bad today. I feel embarrassed and I feel sorry for the crowd, because everyone came here today, knowing that we had the chance to do something nice – and we did nothing.”
The Spaniard went on to say that he will be hoping the loss can inspire his side to fight back in their upcoming League games, as Forest look to mount a promotion push.
“We were really poor and that is a shame because this was a good opportunity to get into the next round.
“It is a shame, because these are the games that, when you retire as a player look back on and see them as a lost opportunity.
“I do not know if we were complacent. If you are complacent when you have the chance to get into a cup quarter-final in England, you have a problem.
“I do not know if that was our problem – I want to believe that our players do not feel that way.
“If we are in the Championship, it should mean that we have more quality than them.
“They had played four games in ten days, with two long journeys. We were more rested than them. But we did not show our quality; we did not look like we were more rested than them.”
Karanka made 10 changes to the side on Tuesday night, but believes that is no excuse as to why his side fell at the Pirelli Stadium.
“I made changes against Bury, Newcastle and Stoke. I don’t think this result is because we changed a lot of players.
“With more or less the same team, we beat Newcastle and Stoke.”
The former Middlesbrough manager will be hoping his side can bounce back in this weekend’s match with high-flying Sheffield United.