EPL

Nuno Espirito Santo knows Nottingham Forest are in a fight for survival

By Sports Desk April 13, 2024

Nuno Espirito Santo felt his Nottingham Forest side missed an opportunity to give themselves breathing space in the Premier League relegation fight after they drew 2-2 against Wolves.

After Matheus Cunha’s fine individual strike put the visitors ahead, goals from Morgan Gibbs-White and Danilo either side of half-time gave Forest the advantage.

But Cunha’s second of the match denied Forest the victory as they moved one point clear of Luton, who were beaten heavily at Manchester City.

With home games against City and Chelsea remaining, Forest’s survival fate could well be decided by away matches at Everton, Sheffield United and Burnley.

Though they are hoping to recoup some of the four points they were docked by the Premier League for breaking financial rules, with an appeal date still to be set.

Former Wolves boss Nuno said: “We are in a fight. It’s going to be a tough one but we’ll give it our all.

“I think it’s a wasted opportunity. I think we did enough. It is disappointing with the way we conceded but offensively we were the better team. We were dominant and had chances.

“It’s very frustrating, not only for me but for all of us – the players and the fans. It’s very frustrating. Beside the need we had, we were better so it’s a missed opportunity. We are all sad and disappointed.”

Cunha’s second goal was the 22nd time Forest have conceded from a set-piece this season and this was one of the most costly.

“Even the first goal, we allowed Wolves individual actions and too many situations,” Nuno said.

“If there’s one player in the box, we allowed them to turn – too soft. The second one is bad defending.”

Wolves, who are playing with a sizeable injury list, look set for a mid-table finish as European qualification now looks out of reach with no wins in the last four.

But boss Gary O’Neil is proud of his side after having only 12 senior outfield players to pick from.

“We are getting a bit closer, we have got people coming back but still a very tough puzzle to put together at the moment, for me and the guys,” he said.

“There is a lot going on at the moment to get through games, they deserve huge credit because it is tough getting points away from home in the Premier League when you are at full strength, so to come here with what we have available to us at the moment is a real positive result and a positive performance because they showed a lot of quality and some real grit and determination.

“Good players make a massive difference. We came here today and I had to pick the 10 outfield players from 12.

“It’s the toughest spell I have had as a manager or a player, I don’t think there will be many teams choosing 10 outfield players from 12 players.

“But there is no excuses or moaning, there is just a real sense of pride. We took three points off Fulham, a point away at Burnley and Nottingham Forest with basically 12 senior players in every one of those. Credit to the group.”

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