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McLeish Fury At Second Half Collapse

5 January 2013

Forest manager Alex McLeish pulled no punches in his assessment of his side’s second half performance after he watched them crash out of the FA Cup to Oldham this afternoon.

Two goals from Robbie Simpson overturned Matt Smith’s earlier own goal, before Danny Collins was adjudged to have felled Smith as the striker ran clear. The skipper received a straight red card and Jose Baxter despatched the resultant free kick to put the tie out of reach.

Billy Sharp bagged a consolation with the last kick of the game but it was too little too late for McLeish who was bitterly disappointed with his side’s display.

He said: “It was a woeful start to the second half, despite us warning the players at half time and talking to them about the need for ruthless professionalism.

“We were a soft touch. We gave the ball away cheaply, we didn’t close down quickly enough – it was half-hearted.

“Smith then caused mayhem – we didn’t deal with him how we should have. Our centre halves had to be ugly and rugged to deal with the threat. They lost out on more balls than I would have expected them to.

“I was pretty pleased with the first half performance – we could have been further ahead when Dexter Blackstock ran through on goal. That would probably have sewn it up for us.

“But we looked a little bit frightened after the break and allowed them to press us. It unnerved us and why the players allowed that to happen is a mystery to me.”

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