Forest fall after firing blanks
EVEN Nottingham Forest manager Stuart Pearce had to apologise to the 23,811 in attendance after a dour draw against Brighton.
A second league match without a goal for Pearce’s side meant they were knocked off the top of the Championship as Brighton produced a solid defensive showing.
This was an uninspiring affair with little in the way of goalmouth action bar a Michael Mancienne header for the hosts in injurytime, where he was left unmarked from Ben Osborn’s corner only to head down and over. It summed up the 90 minutes.
“It was not a very good spectacle and I do apologise,” said Pearce.
“From our perspective we did not show enough oomph and cutting edge.The majority were rested at Tottenham and were fresh.
“We did not have enough to put a sustained pressure on Brighton. It was frustrating but I was pleased with the two central defenders and the goalkeeper.
“We were ragged late as we chased the game but defensively I was pleased.The rest of the side I was little bit disappointed with as we can do a lot better.We did not play particularly well.
“The target now is to go into the next two games and remain unbeaten. But this league is unforgiving. If you’re five-ten per cent off you don’t win games.
“Every game in this league offers something different. We were looking for something a bit special from our front four. But it did not happen for any of them and we have to learn.”
Forest were without David Vaughan who injured himself in the warm-up so Osborn was drafted into the team. He proved to be the best player on the pitch but could not inspire Forest to victory.
Certainly Pearce’s side had enough chances in the first half but did not have their shooting boots on as Henri Lansbury headed over Danny Fox’s cross while the Cham- pionship’s leading scorer Britt Assombalonga blazed high and wide after Lansbury had robbed Lewis Dunk.
German midfielder Robert Tesche then missed a hat-trick of long range chances with David Stockdale making the only real save of the match from one of them.
Craig Mackail-Smith was then unable to make proper contact on a Bruno Saltor header while just after the break Mancienne nearly sliced into his own net from an Adrian Colunga cross.
Substitute Lars Veldwijk should have made himself an instant Forest hero but he could not get on the end of Fox’s cross while the visitors had a chance through Mackail-Smith who shot wide late on.
“We were not doing the right things on the field defensively or offensively in the first half,” said Brighton boss Sami Hyypia.
“We weren’t aggressive enough or positive enough.
“Second half we created a few chances but I’m not happy with a point. I want to win every game we play. If we are on top of our game we can beat anyone in this league. We’re still on a learning curve, we have new players.
“After the second game we brought in several new signings. We have not yet had a chance to integrate them but I don’t want to make excuses.
“I don’t have a concrete target of where I want us to finish in the league but I go into every game to win and give everything that we can.”
KEEPING FOCUSSED: Nottingham Forest’s Robert Tesche takes a shot at goal as the Reds fire blanks against Brighton
UP HIGH: Karl Darlow
claims the ball