Nottingham Forest head coach Sabri Lamouchi was proud of his side as they put in a spirited performance in exiting the Emirates FA Cup against Chelsea.
The Reds lost out 2-0 at Stamford Bridge, with two calls made by VAR going against them, but Lamouchi was pleased with his side’s efforts on an afternoon when players returned from injury and there were 10 academy graduates in the matchday squad.
Speaking after the game, he said: “I want to be positive. We gave 90 minutes to some players; Carl Jenkinson, Yuri, Ryan Yates, Dawson and the surprise, for you maybe not for me, was the young players.
“Brennan Johnson played in different positions but especially Alex Mighten, he made a lot of runs and disturbed the opponents so it is very positive.
“Joao Carvalho, Alfa Semedo, Albert Adomah, they are experienced and try to help the young players.
“We must be proud of our performance, to play with this character is nice and I just want to say that Nottingham Forest has a good academy and very good young players. Gary Brazil and the coaches at the academy have produced young, talented players and we want to give them, at the right time, the chance to play.”
Callum Hudson-Odoi and Ross Barkley scored twice in the first half for Chelsea, with a penalty awarded for Forest being overturned by VAR and a Ryan Yates goal also being cancelled out by the video officials.
“The VAR, I don’t think changed the game, but in the Championship it is 2-2,” Lamouchi said. “It is not fair to play in the league without VAR, then in the FA Cup to play with it. Either you play every single weekend with, or without. It should be the same rules for all teams.
“If it is offside, it is offside. I haven’t seen the video so you have to trust the VAR and the referee. If it was a penalty, we score and it is 1-1.
“But it is a big club. Chelsea controlled the game, they played their rhythm and when they changed their rhythm they found a solution.
“We must be proud, I am proud to be the coach of this team and these players. To come here, play with this character and personality, to try, fight, run until the end and try and come back into the game.”