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Forest fightback pleases Warburton

18 March 2017

Nottingham Forest manager Mark Warburton was pleased with the reaction of his side as they struck late to seal a point against Derby County.

Dani Pinillos’s header sparked scenes of celebration after a poor opening to the second half saw the game turn on its head and Derby took a 2-1 lead, but Warburton was pleased with the character of his side to bounce back for a point in his first game in charge.

He said: “We were very good first half and got the reward early. We dominated the football, created chances and we had a really good desire and dictated the tempo. It was pleasing and we knew Derby would be hurt after that first half and come out but we were sloppy. 

“We conceded two very soft goals and for that 20-minute spell we were under the cosh. The crowd were nervous and obviously I understand the significance of the game, but all credit to the players. They got control of the game back and I was pleased with that. We created chances, Tolis hit the post and we looked dangerous from set pieces and we kept working the ball. We got the reward late in the game and I am delighted with it.

“At home you would want three points but to find ourselves in that position after a really good first half, then to have that response speaks volume of the character of the players. You saw the reaction to the goal, the whole squad was together with the fans and I am delighted they can go home with something.

“I think we deserved to get the point and the first half alone deserved that. We should have been two up at half time but we didn’t and we were playing against a high-quality team which has a lot of good individuals. You know that if you are slightly off they will take advantage and pose you a problem. In that 20 minutes we dipped our performance and we paid the price and found ourselves 2-1 down. 

“It was pleasing to have the reaction. To come back strongly asks a lot in that intense environment and to get the reward at the end is the most pleasing.”

Warburton was pleased with the contribution of Zach Clough who fired The Reds into a first-half lead and felt the forward gave everything before being replaced just after the hour-mark.

He said: “Zach is a young player who hasn’t played that much and we would rather the players give everything they have got for as long as they have got, as opposed to leaving something in the tank to try and last the 90. That will always be the message and Zach gave everything; he ran on empty and I was delighted with his contribution. He has a long future here at the club. It was tough today, in tough conditions and I am delighted with Zach.”

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