Skip to main content

Martin O’Neill felt Nottingham Forest fully deserved victory

Nottingham Forest manager Martin O’Neill insisted justice was done after Costel Pantilimon’s late penalty save secured a 1-0 win at QPR.

The home side were given a chance to equalise when former R’s defender Jack Robinson was adjudged to have handled Josh Scowen’s corner.

Forest protested furiously, arguing that the ball had come off the head of Rangers striker Matt Smith.

Nahki Wells stepped up but was unable to find a way past keeper Pantilimon, who dived to his left to push away the spot-kick.

It meant Karim Ansarifard’s well-worked goal, scored 10 minutes into the second half, gave Forest a first away win since November.

O’Neill said: “Whether it’s a penalty or not seems to be debatable. I would have been very disappointed if we’d have conceded a goal from it.

“Robbo is absolutely convinced that he didn’t touch the ball at all. It seems as if it’s come off their centre-forward’s head.

“QPR threw everything at us but I think the most clear-cut chances fell to us. The goal that we worked was terrific.

“I thought we played some delightful stuff and the goal itself was in essence of that.”

The goal was beautifully created, with Joe Lolley, Matty Cash and Joao Carvalho involved in the build-up before Ansarifard slotted home.

O’Neill said: “I’m delighted to win the game, to win away from home for the first time for a long, long time, and it’s back-to-back wins for us too – so all of those monkeys off our back.

“It was a great goal to win the game and we had to withstand a lot of pressure. They exerted a great deal of pressure on us but we withstood it and Pantilimon then makes a big save for us.”

QPR caretaker boss John Eustace warned that the club needs to recruit wisely this summer after 11 home league defeats during a dismal campaign.

Rangers are severely hampered by Financial Fair Play restrictions and must continue to reduce their budget.

Eustace, placed in charge following last month’s sacking of Steve McClaren said: “That game summed our season up. We haven’t been clinical enough.

“It’s something that we need to get right in the summer and recruit players who are winners and want to put the ball in the net.

“It’s important that we recruit winners – players who aren’t used to losing. I think over the last two or three seasons the standards haven’t been good enough and the recruitment is going to be massive this summer.

“Obviously there’s Financial Fair Play and things like that. We need to recruit hungry players who it means everything to them to win games.”

Eustace gave a full senior debut to Lewis Walker against the club the 20-year-old striker’s father Des made his name with as a player.

But Eustace insisted the youngster’s inclusion had nothing to do with Forest being the opposition.

“Not all. He got the start because we wanted to started him,” Eustace said.

“Going forward, the future of the club is young players and it’s a great experience for him going into next season.

“There were a lot of young players out there fighting for the club and the experience will only stand them in good stead for next year.”