Brentford boss Thomas Frank blamed wasted chances for ruining an otherwise “spotless” performance as his side were held to a 1-1 home draw by Championship strugglers Nottingham Forest.
Ivan Toney’s early penalty, his 28th goal of the season, was not enough for the promotion-chasing Bees as Filip Krovinovic levelled just after the hour to earn Forest a share of the spoils.
But Frank remained upbeat despite seeing his side drop four points in the last two games against sides in the bottom half of the table.
“If you look at the 90 minutes it’s more or less a spotless performance. If look at the numbers, how big the chances were and how we played, it’s a 4-1 win so that is what we will take away from this game,” said the Dane.
“In the first half we were completely on top, created chances and gave nothing away. In the second we learned from the Derby game, came out strong and wanted to press forward to get the second.”
Forest’s equaliser from their only shot on target came after what Frank insisted was a clear foul in the build-up, and the Bees’ lack of fortune in the other box summed up a frustrating afternoon.
Frank said: “After a game like that where things haven’t quite dropped for us, it is important to look at the performance, stay calm and 100 per cent if we play like this nine times more we win nine times.”
Frank refused to be drawn on whether a top-two finish was still in his sights, insisting: “The experience of last season will help us in the run-in, but we will be focusing on the next game and nothing else.”
Forest boss Chris Hughton praised the character and work-rate of his players following the match, and said their desire to “show both sides of the game” was behind their hard-earned point in west London.
“You can’t be successful and come and play against better teams without showing both sides of the game and the boys worked as hard off the ball as they did on it,” he said.
“I was pleased, particularly after conceding as early as we did against a very good side. But the reaction was really good.
“They threatened to start with, but for 90 minutes our shape was good and we had a lot of possession. Overall I’m pleased with a point and it was very much deserved.
“Brentford have real quality, they are a class act and they will be pushing all the way for that automatic spot. If they’re able to take it, they have enough quality to make it through the play-offs.”
Regarding Brentford’s penalty, Hughton felt the decision against Gaetan Bong after he brought down Toney in the box, was “soft”.
“There is tugging and you see it in so many games. Some refs choose not to give that so it is a soft one,” said the Forest boss, who also felt Bees keeper David Raya was fortunate not to see red for handling the ball outside his box.
“It was a clear, clear red so he got that one wrong,” he added.
Looking ahead, Hughton hinted there will be a “summer of change” as players nearing the end of their contracts leave, allowing him to rebuild.
He said: “First we have the international break and it’s a good opportunity for players to get some rest and recovery and then we can do some good work this week and the following week. We have a few away but not too many.”