Ex-Nottingham Forest loan star Lee Tomlin has hailed Aitor Karanka after deciding to hang up his boots.

The former Reds attacker spent the second half of the 2017/18 campaign on loan at the City Ground and did well.

He scored four goals in 15 appearances for Forest and it was the second time he had linked up with Karanka having played under him at Middlesbrough.

Tomlin was playing for Doncaster Rovers but has now decided to call time on his playing career.

Tomlin calling time on career
(Photo; Pete Norton; Getty Images

The 33-year-old has spent 17 years in the professional game but he is thankful to Karanka for his part in his journey.

He told Sky Sports: “He’s very strict and whatever he says goes, but he knows how to manage players. With his attacking players, he wants to let them do what they do. He let me off a leash.

“When I first went to Boro I lost a stone-and-a-half in a couple of months.

“Training was such hard work and his man-management helped me a lot. He knew how to treat me and talk to me. It helped a lot.”

Karanka only took charge of 52 matches in charge of Forest and left the club midway through the 2018/19 campaign.

Tomlin built a reputation for being a scorer of great goals rather than a great goalscorer but he goes down as a Football League stalwart.

Karanka hailed by Tomlin after calling time on playing career

It’s a shame that it never really worked out for Karanka during this time at Forest.

Ultimately, he couldn’t get the team from the board that he craved in order to thrive in the City Ground hot seat.

As for Tomlin, he’s one of the better loan signings that Forest have enjoyed in recent memory.

Tomlin calling time on career
(Photo; James Williamson; AMA; Getty Images)

He helped the club avoid relegation during the 2017/18 campaign and scored some fantastic goals.

Tomlin always gave his all out on the pitch and nobody can ever knock his work rate.

It’s sad for any player to retire but at 33 and after over 600 professional appearances, it’s a case of thanks for the memories for the versatile forward.

Have something to tell us about this article?