Clark: We owed them one in Forest rematch
NEWCASTLE defender Ciaran Clark admitted he and his team-mates had looked to settle personal scores against Nottingham Forest.
The Magpies moved back to the top of the Championship table on Friday night as Dwight Gayle’s double inspired them to victory.
The win was revenge for Rafa Benitez’s side after they slipped to a controversial defeat only four weeks ago at the City Ground.
That clash saw both Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett sent off while the home side were awarded two penalties before winning it late on thanks to a Jamaal Lascelles own goal.
The rematch was not short of controversy, Matt Mills seeing red in the second half for the visitors, but for Clark and his team-mates it was job done.
“There was a lot of controversy in the game away at Forest, and we felt that we owed them one,” said the defender.
“With the Brighton game being called off as well, we knew there was a chance for us to go back to the top with a win. With all of those things in the back of our minds, there was an extra boost for us to go out there and do well.
“It’s obviously a good result in the end, and I thought it was a good performance. We were disappointed to go in 1-1 at half-time, because we felt that we controlled the game.
“They tried to slow the game down and frustrate us, but it didn’t get the better of us, and everyone managed to keep a cool head. In the end, they ended up losing it themselves – the sending-off helped us and we made them pay. We managed to get the two goals and we’re happy in the end.”
Matt Ritchie’s deflected free-kick put the hosts ahead, but they were pegged back by Nicolao Dumitru’s strike against the run of play.
But after Mills saw red for two bookings in the same minute, the first for a late challenge, the second for his reaction afterwards, Gayle pounced with a double to leave the Forest side licking their wounds heading into January. Dumitru said: “We are disappointed with the result because the lads gave all they had, but 11 against ten against a team like this is very hard.
“The red card changed the game. I didn’t understand the decision. Millsy was really upset about it because he didn’t deserve it.
“We were feeling really confident but then the game changed and you saw what happened.”
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