Manager Chris Hughton warned his Nottingham Forest side they must ‘do more’ creatively to win games in the Championship after they were held to a 0-0 draw by Birmingham.
Aitor Karanka’s men ground out a point as he returned to the City Ground and while Hughton’s team are now unbeaten in three games, he was frustrated Forest did collect all three points.
Tobias Figueiredo and Ryan Yates had good chances for the home side but were thwarted by keeper Neil Etheridge.
Forest stopper Brice Samba had to make a good save of his own to keep out Ivan Sanchez but it was the home side who generally had more possession and more chances – without ever finding that killer touch.
Hughton said: “I am pleased with the fact we kept a clean sheet and they were a side who came here determined not to be beaten after a few difficult results.
“I think we needed to show more when it comes to trying to create chances to win the game. Our two best chances came through Ryan Yates and Tobias Figueiredo.
“There were aspects of our game I was not too pleased with. We needed to be better to win this game.
“We made positive changes off the bench to try to address that. It was not a lack of a will to win. We did not start as well as I would like but we found our energy.
“It is a missed opportunity because we are on the back of two good results, we are playing at home and we needed to build on that. But you need that moment of quality to make the breakthrough and I don’t think we did enough to get that.
“I am pleased we are on a three-match unbeaten run but I am not pleased we did not show more to win the game.
“It is a team responsibility and sometimes you look at a team and think they are not working hard enough. That wasn’t the case here.
“We just made poor decisions in key areas and we did not keep the ball well enough and we made poor choices in key moments.”
Karanka was pleased with a point and admitted he had been focused on trying to quell the threat of the Forest attacking arsenal – many of whom he will know well having previously managed at the City Ground.
“We could have taken all three points but Nottingham Forest have good players; players like Lewis Grabban, Joe Lolley, Anthony Knockaert and one or two others,” said the Birmingham manager.
“I said before the game they are a side that can score goals in any moment. They have threat from set-pieces – they just have good players.
“If you do not score your chances, you have to make sure you do not concede.
“In recent games we have conceded goals when we have made mistakes; we have conceded late goals.
“The main thing was to try to keep a clean sheet and recover our solidity, defensively.
“This result can give the players confidence ahead of our next game. I have said always this group of players trains well – training has been fantastic and it has been a pleasure to see that.
“Every team wants to put some results together and climb the table and we are no different.
“I think every team in the Championship has the same aim. All we can do is think about our next game against Derby on Tuesday.”
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