Between The Lines: Aitor Karanka hits out at Daryl Murphy with Lewis Grabban praise

According to comments made via The Nottingham Post, Nottingham Forest manager Aitor Karanka has praised striker Lewis Grabban after he scored the decisive goal in his side’s 1-0 win against Championship leaders Sheffield United at the weekend, and because of his form this season in general.

What did he say?

Speaking about Grabban via The Nottingham Post, Karanka said:

“It is really important to have that kind of player. Last season was the best example, when we created a lot of chances, but did not always score a lot of goals.

“It is important because everyone knows that we have a top scorer there, who can score a goal for us at any time.

“He is not a player who fights or who holds the ball, but when he is on the pitch, when Lewis is in your team, you know how important he is for you.”

What did he really mean?

While he praised the 30-year-old for his form – he has nine goals in 15 Championship appearances this term – the former Middlesbrough boss’ comments must also be seen as a dig at Daryl Murphy.

The 35-year-old centre-forward may have got seven goals in 27 league games for Forest during the 2017/18 campaign, but Karanka has suggested that he was nowhere near prolific enough given the chances he had to score.

The 45-year-old manager obviously now feels he has that regular goalscorer in Grabban – even if he has missed three penalties – who will surely be vital if they are to maintain their bid to be involved in the promotion race.

Any hints to Evangelos Marinakis?

There certainly is.

While Karanka is full of praise for Grabban, he also suggests with his comments about how the former Norwich City and Bournemouth man isn’t the complete striker as he isn’t effective at battling and holding the ball up, that the Spaniard wants another option up top in January.

Marinakis certainly delivered in the transfer market during the summer transfer window, but this is an early hint from the Forest manager that he wants a boost to his frontline to ensure that the Reds continue to battle at the right end of the Championship table for the entire campaign.

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