Chris Hughton praised Nottingham Forest’s strong finish after they secured their first points of the Sky Bet Championship season with a dramatic 1-0 win at Blackburn.
In his first game since replacing Sabri Lamouchi, Hughton was able to celebrate victory thanks to Joe Lolley’s 90th-minute deflected strike that completely bamboozled Thomas Kaminski.
Although there was fortune about the winner, the performance was anything but as Forest came on strong and created chances as the game wore on before Lolley’s late intervention halted a run of 10 winless games.
And after securing Forest’s first victory at Ewood Park since 2013, Hughton said his side’s finish was the most pleasing aspect of the performance.
He said: “When you win a game in that manner towards the end of the game, it’s an even nicer feeling.
“We’ve come to a team in really good form and, for periods, they showed why. They’ve been able to score goals, so the pleasing aspect is I thought we got stronger as the game went on.
“It was always about making sure we were solid enough as a team but having opportunities ourselves. Did I see the goal coming? Probably not. I thought the game was going to be 0-0, but we finished strong, which was good.
“When you score a goal so late in the game, it gives the team an incredible lift.
“He’s (Lolley) got that type of ability, particularly when he comes inside and gets good power.”
Blackburn had lost twice in 20 home games before the visit of Forest – against teams now in the Premier League – but it is a second consecutive game at Ewood Park without victory.
Tony Mowbray described his team’s first-half performance as the poorest this season, but also believes the fact Joe Rothwell and Derrick Williams are self-isolating meant preparation was disrupted.
He said: “I thought the signs were there pretty early. We lacked intensity, everything that we’ve been so good at this year. Just a lot of basic errors.
“It looked like a team that hadn’t played together and it hasn’t played together. We had one day with that team on the grass. Because of the current climate, the team changed from the one we prepared during the week.
“It looked like 0-0 all over it really. We were never under any real serious threat but there you go.
“We talked about getting to Joe Lolley cutting on his left foot from the right. It’s a frustrating day for us but it’s not as if we threatened their goal too much and we just have to accept it.
“You can lose tight games from a set-play or deflected shot. The first half was as poor as we’ve been this year but, as I said, it was a team thrown together really, and it’s been a bit frustrating.”
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