Sabri Lamouchi hailed the character of his high-flying Nottingham Forest side after they came from behind to earn a 1-1 draw with Blackburn at Ewood Park.
Forest extended their unbeaten run in the Sky Bet Championship to nine games as Joe Lolley cancelled out Adam Armstrong’s 63rd-minute opener just two minutes later.
Chances were few and far between in a disjointed first half but the game sprung to life after the break, with the home side unfortunate not to take all three points after finishing strongly.
“It’s a good point,” said Lamouchi. “We start the game better than Blackburn but they finished much better than us, so a draw is logical for both teams.
“We can do better in the first half with one or two chances; the second half it was a good reaction to come back immediately and that’s a positive sign for me for the future.
“Every single game is very tough. It’s important (not to lose), especially away at a difficult place like Blackburn.
“It was not easy, but it says a lot about the character of my players – they don’t want to lose.”
Lolley almost put the visitors in front after 38 seconds when he was denied by Christian Walton, but that was as good as it got in a dreary first half.
Sam Gallagher directed a header off target from Downing’s cross shortly after the break, while at the other end Lolley’s short corner routine fell for Ben Watson 25 yards out but his powerful effort cleared the crossbar.
Grabban directed a volley from the edge of the area straight at Walton but moments later Forest found themselves behind.
Armstrong burst through the away defence in the 63rd minute and, although Joe Worrall blocked his initial effort, the forward managed to fire the rebound past Brice Samba from a tight angle.
Rovers’ lead was wiped out just two minutes later, however, as Lolley found space 25 yards out and unleashed a shot into the bottom corner.
Forest had the chance to go ahead with 15 minutes remaining, but Albert Adomah failed to get a shot away after Joao Carvalho’s majestic through ball left him with only the keeper to beat.
Samba had to be alert to turn Greg Cunningham’s cross behind for a corner as it drifted towards goal and the keeper then produced fine saves to deny Joe Rothwell and Derrick Williams in the closing stages.
Stewart Downing and substitute Dominic Samuel had efforts blocked late on before ex-Germany international Lewis Holtby fired wide with Rovers’ last chance of the contest.
Blackburn boss Tony Mowbray believes his side are improving after signing seven players over the summer.
“We have to find the balance each game if we can, the right combination of players,” he said.
“A lot of crosses went in their box that we didn’t get on the end of, so there’s still things we have to work on – what type of goals are we going to score from wide areas? We can get behind teams – we’ve been working hard on our ball retention.
“We’re a work in progress, a lot of new players, a new team, and I think we’ll get better and stronger as the season unfolds.
“Yes, we’re disappointed we’ve only drawn at home, but we’ve put down a marker for where we are and if anyone was going to win that it was going to be us.”
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