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A first half to forget

19 October 2016

Nottingham Forest head coach Philippe Montanier was left to rue his side's first-half performance during the 2-1 defeat at Blackburn Rovers last night.

Forest trailed 2-0 at half-time at Ewood Park courtesy of Sam Gallagher's first-half brace and Montanier says it was his team's slow start to the game which would go on to cost them a chance of taking something from the game.

He said: "It was a poor first half especially. We started the game really badly and conceded two really poor goals. Second half it was better but when you're trying to come back from 2-0 down it is difficult even though we fought until the end.

"You cannot afford to only turn up for 45 minutes. I cannot understand why we were so poor in the first half because the players were very confident after the Birmingham game. It is a tough one for me to work out.

"It was an opportunity for us to pick up where we left off against Birmingham but the start to the game has cost us. It wasn't a problem with team selection or formation, it was a problem with how the whole team started the game."

The Reds lost David Vaughan and Mustapha Carayol to injury at Ewood Park and will also be without Hildeberto Pereira and Matt Mills for Saturday's game against Cardiff through suspension but Montanier believes it is now time for other members of his squad to step up.

He said: "It has been a bad night for us because we lost four players through injury or suspension. But that is the reason why we prepare a squad at the beginning of the season so that we are able to cope with these problems.

"We will have to assess how bad the injuries have been to David Vaughan and Mustapha Carayol but it will give an opportunity to other players if they are not ready for Saturday."

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