Nottingham Forest skipper Danny Collins issues promotion warning
NOTTINGHAM Forest must find the consistency to prove their promotion credentials, warned skipper Danny Collins.
The Reds missed a chance to claw their way into the top six as their recent good form came stuttering to a painful halt with a disappointing 3-1 defeat at lowly Ipswich.
Collins admitted Forest produced one of their worst performances of the season at Portman Road – but insisted the biggest frustration was that it came at a time when they again seemed to be finding their feet in the Championship.
Back-to-back wins over Sheffield Wednesday and Wolves – and a run of just one defeat in nine, prior to Tuesday – had lifted them to seventh, leaving them separated from the top six only on goal difference.
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“We have to get things right quickly,” said Collins.
“We have two home games and we have to get back to our best, sharpish. We had another chance to get ourselves among the promotion pack and we have to get ourselves back in that position as soon as we can.
“At the start of the season we were unbeaten for a while, then we had built a decent run again recently.
“We got ourselves up to seventh and could have been in the play-off places if we had got a result at Ipswich. But we have taken a step back again, which we have been guilty of before.
“We cannot keep letting that happen. The positive is we have three or four days to prepare for Hull and we have to make sure we bounce back quickly.”
Collins says Forest must be prepared to roll their sleeves up and battle against some of the division’s more robust sides.
“We did not see that performance coming. Although, when you say that, we do well against the footballing sides, but when we have to battle it is sometimes a different story,” he said.
“This was a tough Tuesday night in Ipswich and we have not produced. We had too many players who did not produce, who were below par.
“You cannot do that in this league. You need seven or eight of you to be right on top of your games or you have no chance.
“We had a chat afterwards and admitted we did not have that.
“We let the fans down who had travelled a long way to come and watch us. It was a very disappointing evening, because we were looking to kick on. But we never got going at all.”
Collins felt the three goals Forest conceded at Portman Road summed up their night.
“The goals we conceded probably summed things up for us really, in that there was a mistake for the first one, a penalty for the second – when we were just getting back into the game – and then the third one came when we lost the ball,” he said.
“I was not too sure if it was a penalty. He (DJ Campbell) changed direction. The lads said he was already going down before there was any contact; before he went over my foot, which was planted.
“Campy did well to save it, only for the rebound to drop to their lad.
“The first one was a mix up as well. I was going to head it, but Campy gave me a shout, so I left it – then he has missed it as well.
“To concede three, when we had been trying to tighten things up at the back, was not good. From a defender’s point of view, it was a disappointing one for us.”