Chris Hughton was pleased with Nottingham Forest’s battling spirit but frustrated by their failure to convert their chances after a 0-0 draw with Barnsley at the City Ground.
Lewis Grabban and Anthony Knockaert failed to make the most of golden chances to break the deadlock.
Cauley Woodrow might also have snatched all three points for Barnsley, but was denied by a fine save from Brice Samba who kept out his close range header.
“It was a tough game against a very direct team with a lot of physicality. Firstly, you have to match that,” said Forest manager Hughton.
“From a defensive aspect, I thought we did well to limit them to half chances. But we had clear moments and that is my frustration. To battle as hard as we did, to fight as hard as we did – and when those moments came along, we were not able to capitalise.
“Looking at the effort that the team gave us, we cannot say there was a lack of that – but we are frustrated.
“We had clear chances to win the game. I thought we also got the ball into some good areas that we could have capitalised on a little bit more. You either put away those clear chances or you do not. We did not.
“We did not let our heads drop, against a side that were waiting for our concentration to drop. We at least kept that for 90 minutes, but we were frustrated overall.
“You have to give us credit for defending well. Barnsley have players who can hurt you from distance and you have to be consistent in your defending to cope with that.”
Barnsley boss Valerien Ismael was furious that his side were not given a penalty when Michal Helik appeared to have been pulled back in the box by Joe Worrall.
“It was a really, really big mistake and a game changer. We need to have a clear and proper decision, so it is a big frustration. We are frustrated by the point, even if we saw a lot of positives,” he said.
“I do not want to speak about all the small decisions in the game, because that can happen. But such a big, big mistake… I cannot explain what has happened. It was clear. Everyone saw the same situation. We are not stupid.
“It was a clear penalty for us. It is unacceptable, the performance of the referee. You have to do something, you have to say something. We are fighting to win, which is why it is such a big frustration.
“The penalty could have been a game changer for us. It was a good clean sheet and we will take the point.
“In the second half, we had a really good chance to score and Samba made a great save. But the big frustration was about the referee’s performance. I did not speak to the referee. But this was a game changer for us.”
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