Dean Holden paid tribute to Daniel Bentley after seeing his keeper help Bristol City to a fourth consecutive Championship victory, courtesy of a hard fought 2-1 success at Nottingham Forest.
City needed their keeper to be at his very best to keep Sabri Lamouchi’s side at bay, after Luke Freeman’s spectacular goal had given the home side hope, following early goals from Andreas Weimann and Nahki Wells.
Bentley made outstanding saves to deny Alex Mighten, Cyrus Christie and Lyle Taylor, as Forest looked for the win Lamouchi needed to ease the pressure on his shoulders, following four consecutive league defeats this season – and a longer run of just three wins in 20 games overall.
“We wanted to get on top of Forest early and avoid complacency, so to go 2-0 up was brilliant, with two good finishes and two really good assists from Chris Martin,” said Holden.
“Then we switched off from a throw in and they created a few chances, which changed the momentum of the game.
“In the second half, this was going to be our biggest test yet, mentally, this season. They went after the game and Bentley was incredible. That is his job, he is there to make saves – but he made some big, big saves.
“This was a real test and I am pleased we have come under this pressure, because in any successful season you are going to need to be able to stand together; fight together under that kind of pressure and come through it.
“The spirit you build from performances like that can be really important. It is really pleasing. We need to make sure complacency does not become an issue. But I don’t think there is any chance of that raising its head here. We are focused.”
Lamouchi hopes he will get more time to turn things around – but knows there are problems to be solved at Forest, who expect to make their 13th signing of the summer in the form of midfielder Cafu, from Olympiacos, next week.
“Yes, there were positive signs today – but not enough. Because the result is negative one more time. It is one more day, one more game, one more bad result, with the same mistakes,” said Lamouchi, who has now suffered seven consecutive Championship defeats, including the finish to last season, when Forest dropped out of the play-off places.
“After the second (Bristol) goal we started to play. We got back in the game and the second half was the opposite. I don’t know why we play only when we need a reaction and not from minute one.
“This is a problem. This is not a friendly game. The league has started and, after four games we are where we are. We need to wake up. We need to take responsibility. Of course, the manager has more responsibility than anyone.
“The players, they are behind us. You saw us play last season when we produced some great performances at home and away.
“We did not often create as many chances as we did against Cardiff and in this game. But we did not score. And if you do not score and make mistakes, in the end you do not have a chance.
“The second half was much better, so we just need to click; we need to get out of this very bad situation.”
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