O'Driscoll hails Forest performance as Boro hang on for a draw
SEAN O'Driscoll believes Nottingham Forest were unlucky not to beat Middlesbrough comfortably at the City Ground tonight – and told his players that their performance level has set the bar for the standards they need to reach for the rest of the season.
Billy Sharp and Elliott Ward both hit the woodwork as the Reds failed to convert a host of chances on a night when they dominated against in-form Boro.
Tony Mowbray's side were chasing a sixth straight win in the Championship, but will have been grateful to return home with a point.
And O'Driscoll said: "I would have settled for that performance before the game, without question. We had the chances to win the game and if we had walked off with a 2-0 or 3-0 win, we would have been crowing about the performance.
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"They are a good team, they are fluid in possession of the ball. In their last two or three games the left back has probably had as much of the ball as anyone else on the pitch – but 20 minutes into the game they were telling him not to push forward.
"That was a big part of their game but, tactically, we did really well. For a lot of the game against Millwall, we were okay. We just gave away a stupid goal.
"We got some criticism for playing a physical game against a physical side on Saturday, but these were a football side.
"They and Leicester are the two best teams I have seen and Middlesbrough came here looking for a sixth straight win. We did extremely well, I was pleased with the way we played; pleased with the way we moved the ball.
"We just have to carry this on. We have to make sure that we take the lessons we learnt against Millwall. We wanted to improve against Middlesbrough and we did that."
Forest piled on the pressure, particularly in the final stages and O'Driscoll felt Forest could not have done any more in their search for that elusive goal.
"You can't gamble in this division. When it is 0-0 it is tempting to gamble, but you can't do it against teams of this quality.
"The margins are really tight in this division. But we are pleased with the performance. We had plenty of chances."