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Poor start, strong finish

30 July 2016

Nottingham Forest head coach Philippe Montanier says his side's slow start cost them against Hull City this afternoon but praised their second-half performance.

The Reds fell 2-0 behind courtesy of Adama Diomande's early brace and although Oliver Burke scored a late consolation, it wasn't enough to prevent Forest from slipping to defeat against their Premier League opponents.

Despite the result, Montanier believes that he has plenty of positives to work from this week ahead of next Saturday's opening Sky Bet Championship fixture against Burton Albion at The City Ground.

He said: "We started very badly and in the first 20 minutes we conceded two poor goals. We had a young team out today and perhaps we were a little nervous at the beginning.

"But as the game went on we got much better and I saw some positive things from the team, both defensively and offensively. The main thing is that we learn from our poor start to the game and improve in certain areas.

"I was pleased with the reaction from the team to going 2-0 down and we started to play some good football. We performed well against a Premier League team and that is what we wanted from today's match.

"In the second half we were more organised and also more relaxed. We regained control of the match and the objective of the second half was to win it, which we did."

Nigel Clough's newly-promoted Burton visit Trentside in a week's time and Montanier says places are still up for grabs as he gets ready for his first competitive fixture in charge of the club.

He said: "Parts of the team are decided in my mind but it was interesting to see players like Britt Assombalonga and Jorge Grant play well today so of course there is still time for players to get themselves into the side.

"I need to make sure that we have a fully-prepared squad for next week and the month of August. We have a busy month to come and every member of the squad needs to be ready.

"I felt very relaxed at the start of the game, more than the players, but of course it is easier on the bench than it is on the pitch. 

"The supporters want to see a good mentality, good teamwork and a team that gives them 100% effort and commitment and that is what we can promise them throughout the season."

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