Billy Davies delighted with a fourth consecutive win for Forest
BILLY Davies admitted that Nottingham Forest had endured a frustrating night against Ipswich – but was ultimately delighted to see his team emerge with another three points.
Lewis McGugan struck in the 84th minute to break the resolve of Mick McCarthy's side, who had played for the final 20 minutes with only nine men, after having Lee Martin and Richard Stearman sent off.
Manager Davies fatigue was an issue, with his squad having faced another tough test in the late kick off at Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
But he was pleased with the character the Reds showed as they ground out a fourth consecutive win – which lifted them to within two points of sixth-placed Brighton.
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"What can we say? It was a frustrating night and we looked leggy. I said to the players at half time that I was concerned," said Davies. "We had no strikers to put on the pitch, because we had lost Billy Sharp with a chest infection and Darius Henderson has a knee injury.
"We were trying to manufacture substitutions to liven us up, to put a spark into us. But, in the end, this was a very important three points."
"When you talk about a team that won three from 14 matches and were supposed to be completely dead, we haven't half picked them up. We have got work rate out of them, we have got attitude out of them and we have got determination out of them.
"We played against a team who had kept four clean sheets in six games and I am delighted with the three points and with the third clean sheet.
"But I was very concerned about this game, I was concerned about fatigue having had little time to recover since our late kick-off on Saturday."
Davies admitted that his side did not always produce the flowing football that had become their trademark since his return. But they did show plenty of character to finally break Ipswich's resolve.
"I have to say that we are not always going to get fluent, passing football. We have had that in our recent matches. What we have seen here is a team that looked leggy, but dug in and eventually got three points," he said.
"It was frustrating for the fans; I found it frustrating to watch. At times it was hard to see what was going off (because of the fog). Don't ask me about the penalties or the sendings off, because I didn't see anything.
"But these players deserve credit for the manner in which they work away and Lewis got us a goal. That is what Lewis does, we know he can twist and turn people and he has goals in him."
Ipswich boss McCarthy felt his team were unlucky not to hold out for a point.
"We were unlucky, because it was only a deflection that has cost us. They were not going to get a goal any other way," he said.
"As for the sending offs, I have no arguments with the Lee Martin one. He was stood on and messed about, but it is always the player who retaliates who gets sent off.
"I don't think Lee elbowed him (Henri Lansbury) hard enough for him to be rolling around on the floor for that long, that annoys me. But it was a sending off.
"The second one, for Richard Stearman, I have looked at it and he just seems to have ushered him off the pitch. It didn't look like he hit him in the face. But Andy Reid was rolling around and the crowd were baying for blood.
"But I have no arguments with the first one and, given that Stearman had already been booked, it was probably a little reckless on his part."