Hughton feels Forest's defeat to 'very good' Canaries side was unjust

Nottingham Forest Manager Chris Hughton during the Sky Bet Championship match at Carrow Road, Norwic

Chris Hughton returned to Carrow Road as Nottingham Forest manager - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Chris Hughton felt his struggling Nottingham Forest side were unfortunate to lose to a ‘very good’ Norwich City side during his return to Carrow Road. 

It was only the second time that Hughton had returned to his former club for a competitive fixture since he lost his job as City boss in April 2014, with Premier League relegation looming.

 

That was a 2-0 Championship defeat in April 2017 during his time in charge of Brighton but now the 61-year-old has taken on the challenge of trying to end Forest’s 22 years outside of the top flight. 

“It's a disappointing defeat because I didn't think it was one we deserved, particularly over the 90 minutes,” said Hughton after the 2-1 loss. 

“In the first half Norwich were better than us, despite not really creating many clear-cut opportunities. But we ended up conceding a poor goal on the stroke of half-time, despite some of the things we had done well in the period before that. 

“What I did get was a reaction from the players in the second half, and once we got the equaliser, I couldn't see us losing the game because we were in the ascendancy. 

“Even though they are a very good side, if there was one team in the ascendancy and might win, I thought it was us. That's the way things are going for us at the moment. 

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“Norwich got a very fortuitous second goal, but I thought our character throughout the second half was much better and much more like what I want to see.” 

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An equaliser from substitute Anthony Knockaert in the 72nd minute, as his cross evaded everyone in the Norwich box, finished a run of five games without a goal. 

But Emi Buendia’s shot deflected in off Joe Worrall five minutes later as City reclaimed the lead, to leave Forest 21st and with 13 points from Hughton’s first 13 games, after a fifth defeat in six matches. 

The former Tottenham defender - who was in charge of Norwich between 2012 and 2014, achieving 11th place in the Premier League at the end of his first season in charge – remains hopeful of pushing clear of a relegation battle. 

“I can understand,” he added, when asked about the anxiety of Forest fans. “We are not in a false position. The league doesn’t lie. 

“I think we are better than the results we have been getting. I think our performances are better than the results we have been getting.” 

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