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A battling victory

23 February 2021

Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton says his side could have done more with the ball but was delighted by a hard-fought win at Rotherham United this evening.

A second goal of the season from Ryan Yates was enough to separate the sides at the AESSEAL New York Stadium and Hughton was happy with the result, if not every aspect of his team's performance in tough conditions in South Yorkshire.
He said: "It was a very hard-fought win but that was what we expected coming here. Probably the only thing that would have changed the game was getting an early goal which would have opened it up a bit more. As long as the game stayed at 0-0 then Rotherham continued to play in the same way, a way that is really effective for them. You have to match that commitment and then I would look for a bit more on the ball than we showed tonight.
"Only an early goal would really have opened the game up because they play in a direct way and they're very good at it. In the second half we were able to exploit the wide areas, especially with Cyrus, and what we have to look at is the qualities we showed to defend well and keep a clean sheet because Rotherham press you really well all over the pitch.
"It was good to have Ryan Yates back in the side because he was a mainstay in the team earlier in the season and playing really well. He provides further competition in the middle of the park and knowing the type of game this was going to be, we needed his aerial strength and to get the goal as well, that just capped off his performance and I think he deserved it.
"Competition for places is good and you always want players who are desperate to getting into the side. It's hard for the lads to be on top form game after game and part of management is making the right decision and when you get a good result, it's the right decision but there are numerous times when you make those decisions and they don't go your way.
"We've got a group and a squad that are fighting hard at the moment and we're delighted with a fourth clean sheet in five games. It's a massive part of the game and whether you are a team at the top or the bottom, the starting point is clean sheets and you will win more games than you lose if you keep them. 
"We're going to get tested on Friday at Derby and next Tuesday against Luton so I’m hoping we can get a few more goals to alleviate some of the pressure. I’m looking forward to Friday because I know what it means to our supporters and it’s a shame they won’t be there but I can assure them it means as much to us as it does to them."

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