Nottingham Forest manager Gary Brazil says his side’s hard work paid off as The Reds emphatically beat promotion-chasing Brighton 3-0 this afternoon.
A Zach Clough brace and a strike from Ben Osborn sealed the win at The City Ground and Brazil was delighted with his team’s effort.
He said: “From our point of view it was pleasing on a number of levels. It was pleasing that the hard work put in by the players on the training ground has got its reward for us to get three points and that it is coming together.
“We said at the beginning that this wasn’t going to be a smooth passage, it would be a rollercoaster and we have lost some games lately but we felt we were going down the right path. Hopefully the fans can see the work we are trying to put in and the performance today is a credit massively to the players and the staff who are putting in the work Monday to Friday.
“If you look at us today and how we performed, in the first half when we got a real grip of the game and showed that we could handle ourselves and then we pushed on in the second half. The substitutions were decent and changed the game for us going forward and as an all-round performance I was chuffed to bits for the players, for the staff and I was made up for the fans. You could sense they were with us as the game went on and really need them again on Tuesday night.
“We don’t get carried away with it. We didn’t get low when we went down to Craven Cottage and when we played against Sheffield Wednesday when we were disappointed. We are going to keep our feet on the ground and prepare for the game on Tuesday against another side that is decent.”
The defensive display also pleased Brazil, especially considering the players that were missing for his side.
He said: “We have been solid for the vast majority of the games we have been in charge. When you are talking about Hobbs, Mills and Mancienne not being fit and we are putting together teams and that is two clean sheets on the bounce. The centre halves were brilliant, Eric is a stalwart for this football club and we have brought Armand Traore in and what a footballer he is.
“Having people like Armand back in being fit, the same with Mancienne, Hobbs and Mills and we have got a really quality squad that can push on. We have shown against a side that will probably get promoted this year, what we are capable of.”
There was a contentious moment when Clough struck the first goal, moments after he came off the bench, with Britt Assombalonga claiming the final touch from what the Brighton defenders thought was an offside position. But Brazil felt it was the bit of luck that his side had been lacking in recent weeks that finally went on their side.
He said: “All I know is that it was a goal. It went in the top corner and we have had a lot that that have gone in the top corner against us and we have been hurt at critical moments. At the critical moments today we were strong and that is nice to see; if we got a little bit of luck today we deserved it for what we put into the game.”