As Nottingham Forest found themselves outside the Championship play-off places going into 2019, rumours swirled that the club were considering relieving him of his duties.
The club’s hugely ambitious owners want Forest back in the Premier League as soon as possible and were potentially willing to pull the trigger on the Spaniard to make that happen.
With all of that in the background, table-toppers Leeds United were probably the last side Karanka wanted to face yesterday, and when the ten men of Marcelo Bielsa’s side went 2-1 up in the second half, the outlook looked bleak for the Spaniard.
The atmosphere around the City Ground was nervous but Jack Colback’s second goal of the match sparked the stadium into life and was the catalyst for a stunning 4-2 victory to ease the pressure on Karanka.
Ben Osborn capped the win with an outstanding goal, and the fans responded to the display vociferously in the ground before taking to Twitter after the match to unequivocally show their support for their manager.
The players and fans are all clearly united behind Karanka and yesterday’s result will surely make the board think twice about sacking him. These fans will certainly hope so…
I’ve never known the fans so united behind one manager! Keep up the great work boss – we love you here 👍🏽
— Raul Naylor (@notttmfails) January 1, 2019
Love you jefe! You have brought the pride back to Forest. I hope you are here for a good few years to come. Enjoyed your celebrations too! Feliz Ano Nuevo!!!!🔴⚪️❤️Now go and get a celebratory drink. You deserve it! 🥂🍾
— Debs (@deblee_smith) January 1, 2019
Happy new year boss we want you to stay #NFFC
— Jake Whalin (@jakeleewhalin) January 1, 2019
Take Forest up for Us! Happy New Year from New York City!
— Nottingham Forest NYC (@nffcNYC) January 1, 2019
What can happen when ‘fans’ are truly ‘supporters’! Incredible effort from everyone today, a perfect start to a new year. I hope you are with us for many more to come
— Andrew Chester (@Andrew_Chester) January 1, 2019
Keep creating magic like today boss, we are all behind you and wouldn’t be where we are today without you 👊✌️💥 #nffc
— Mike"Jones" (@MJ_Jones_Hallam) January 1, 2019
Whoever started off this ‘rumour’, really should hang their head in shame. You are a breath of fresh air to our club, and deserve all the time in the world. The transformation in our club and team, are totally miraculous. Keep up the great work Aitor. #COYR
— Nick (@nikos787) January 1, 2019
And the players are clearly playing for you and the fans are clearly behind you too – let’s use this win as a springboard, stay together and not unsettle everything👍
— [AJ]🇪🇺🏳️🌈#FBPE (@YorkshireLad_87) January 1, 2019
Nothing but love for you gaffer. Viva Karanka x
— Dan Wilson (@The_Dantedote) January 1, 2019
You are the best thing to happen to our club for many years, best wishes for 2019 👍👍
— Mark Hardy (@Mark_Hardy4) January 1, 2019
In Aitor we believe, we believe in Aitor #nffc
— Shaun Clark (@shaun1clark) January 1, 2019
Happy New Year, the best manager Nottingham Forest has had since Brian Clough and maybe Frank Clarke
— Phil Dzirvinskis (@Latvianphil) January 1, 2019