Chris Hughton admitted the manner of Nottingham Forest’s 2-0 defeat to Huddersfield perfectly personified their season of struggle.
The home side failed to make the most of three good early chances, before seeing Huddersfield demonstrate the cutting edge they had been missing at the City Ground.
Aaron Rowe pounced on a mistake from James Garner to make it 1-0 in first-half stoppage time and Juninho Bacuna struck on the counter-attack with a fine finish in the 61st minute.
The result took Huddersfield a big step closer to safety, moving them eight points above the bottom three, and defeat left Hughton to reflect on some familiar problems.
“It was a hard day. I am really disappointed, after our last home game (when Forest beat QPR 3-1), I was hoping we could replicate that performance and, for 20 minutes, we did. We dominated. We had three good chances in that period and the result sums up how we have been this season,” said Hughton.
“I don’t think we could have started the game any better than we did – but you need to be able to capitalise on that. We have found it difficult to get goals. We have become a more resolute team, we have not conceded goals and we have not generally made mistakes.
“We made two mistakes for the goals, which has not been like us at all. When we had made mistakes in the past, the opposition had not always capitalised on them. But they did today.
“We needed to show more. Having gone 2-0 down, we needed to show more to get back into the game. We did not show enough.
“We got punished for that. Huddersfield fought hard. But when you are 2-0 up it is a nice position to be in. You are looking at things like determination and quality in the final third. If we cannot get those things, we need to make sure we do not make mistakes and it was two poor goals we conceded.
“This sums up our season overall, even if it does not sum up our recent form. We had not been conceding goals, which is what had got us points in games previously.”
Huddersfield boss Carlos Corberan was pleased with the level of character shown by his side – and their killer touch – as they ultimately claimed a straightforward win.
“It is important to be clinical. It is important, when you have the chances, to score the goal. We did that,” he said.
“When your opponent makes a mistake, you have to use that opportunity. You have to have desire, but you also need to have that concentration, to make the most of these moments.
“The result was a very necessary one for us. We needed the three points. The important thing was that we had the desire.
“In the first minutes of the game, Forest controlled things. But after that, we grew into the game. We started to grow in confidence and we defended better as well.
“We played well on the counter-attack and that was what helped us to take the lead.
“In the second half we continued to be brave in attack and that was important. We did not believe that the game was over, we continued to go for it.
“We got the second goal and we had the commitment to ensure they did not have many opportunities to get back into it. With the quality of the opposition here, we could never relax. When they brought players on, off the bench, they were quality players.”
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