Karanka at the City Ground

Newly appointed manager Aitor Karanka wants to take Nottingham Forest to the “place they belong – the Premier League”.

The former Middlesbrough manager made the statement during his first press conference at The City Ground on Thursday afternoon.

The new boss was “inspired” by the club’s history and impressed with the club’s hierarchy in deciding to make Nottingham Forest his new home.

He said: “The club belongs in the Premier League. The target is promotion and I’m ambitious and the club deserves that ambition.

“I signed for two-and-a-half years and I think we have to be patient to do things step-by-step.

“The most important thing is that people can see and feel the progress.”

Karanka became the club’s tenth boss in five-and-half years and fans will be hoping he can deliver on such ambitions.

The former Real Madrid assistant manager remained coy on potential January transfer targets.

He said: “We have to bring the best players possible. They have to realise they’re coming to a big club and a nice project.

“We have another two weeks to sign players. We have time after Saturday.”

Karanka’s first taste of action will take place against Aston Villa at The City Ground on Saturday evening in front of the Sky Sports cameras.

After only having a few days of preparation, Karanka was cautious to change too much of the existing strategy the players are used to.

He added: “We will take it step-by-step. I don’t want to arrive and change everything in just a few days. I need to know the players 100 per cent.

“It’s a big game against a big club but it’s our first step and I’m wanting to win.”

Karanka looked assured, confident and comfortable during his press conference before taking his first steps down The City Ground tunnel holding the famous red shirt.

Aitor Karanka holding the Garibaldi Red.

During questions fielded by the media, Karanka said he wanted to emulate the success and admiration he achieved whilst manager at Middlesbrough.

“(Middlesbrough fans) know how hard I worked when I was there.

“I took a team in the lower half of the Championship and took them to the Premier League.”

Karanka was realistic as well as ambitious in saying that instant success, while desirable, is never guaranteed.

He added: “It’s not a race, it’s a marathon.

“The pressure is on me because I’m here to get promotion. The bigger the club, the bigger the pressure is.”