Date: 20th March 2017 at 10:37am
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New Nottingham Forest manager Mark Warburton has praised the reaction of the side in the weekend’s clash against Derby County.

Hosting Gary Rowett’s new side at the City Ground with both clubs having a recent change of manager, Zack Clough gave us the advantage but Derby hit back quickly at the start of the second half scoring two goals of their own. With it looking like it would end in defeat, Dani Pinillo’s struck a stoppage time leveller and Warburton couldn’t have been more pleased with the reaction of the players in is first game to take the point.

Speaking to the Official Forest Site in his post game press conference, the former Rangers and Brentford man explained.

‘We were very good first half and got the reward early. We dominated the football, created chances and we had a really good desire and dictated the tempo. It was pleasing and we knew Derby would be hurt after that first half and come out but we were sloppy.’

Warburton went on to say that our start to the second half clearly wasn’t good enough but it’s something that can be worked on, because the response to going two one down was pleasing.

‘We conceded two very soft goals and for that 20-minute spell we were under the cosh. The crowd were nervous and obviously I understand the significance of the game, but all credit to the players. They got control of the game back and I was pleased with that. We created chances, Tolis hit the post and we looked dangerous from set pieces and we kept working the ball. We got the reward late in the game and I am delighted with it.’

Pressed more on the performance and what he would’ve wanted from his first game in charge, clearly it would’ve been the home win and all three points given the stature of the game but he felt on balance the point had been more than deserved given our overall efforts on the day.

‘At home you would want three points but to find ourselves in that position after a really good first half, then to have that response speaks volume of the character of the players. You saw the reaction to the goal, the whole squad was together with the fans and I am delighted they can go home with something. I think we deserved to get the point and the first half alone deserved that. We should have been two up at half time but we didn`t and we were playing against a high-quality team which has a lot of good individuals. You know that if you are slightly off they will take advantage and pose you a problem. In that 20 minutes we dipped our performance and we paid the price and found ourselves 2-1 down.’

Adding.

‘It was pleasing to have the reaction. To come back strongly asks a lot in that intense environment and to get the reward at the end is the most pleasing.’

With Clough opening the scoring, he also came in for praise from the gaffer for his contribution.

‘Zach is a young player who hasn`t played that much and we would rather the players give everything they have got for as long as they have got, as opposed to leaving something in the tank to try and last the 90. That will always be the message and Zach gave everything; he ran on empty and I was delighted with his contribution. He has a long future here at the club. It was tough today, in tough conditions and I am delighted with Zach.’

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