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Smallwood left frustrated by defeat at Nottingham Forest

20 December 2021

Captain Richie Smallwood says the team will be looking to bounce back on Boxing Day after a frustrating away defeat against Nottingham Forest.

Goals from Lewis Grabban and Brennan Johnson secured the hosts all three points after Keane Lewis-Potter’s sublime first-half opener had given the Tigers the advantage heading into half-time.  

Similarly to Grant McCann, Smallwood was left feeling aggrieved at full-time about the penalty decision which led to the hosts equalising shortly after the break. Speaking after the game, Smallwood felt that it was a decision which swung the momentum of the game.  

“We’re away to Nottingham Forest who have got a big fanbase and make a lot of noise,” said Smallwood.  

“When they’re kicking towards their home end, it definitely swings the game no matter what. It does in every single game of football when the home team get a leg up.  

“Inevitably, most of the time the home crowd help them a lot and they create more chances. They managed to create one more and they managed to put it away. 

“It’s just unfortunate that we couldn’t get back into the game despite all our efforts.” 

The Tigers will now turn their attention to facing another high-flying team on Boxing Day in the form of Blackburn Rovers. The game will carry extra significance for Smallwood given his three-year spell at Ewood Park before joining the Tigers.

Tony Mowbray’s side have won five successive games in the Championship, but Smallwood insists the team will head into that game in confident mood.

“It’s going to be a tough game,” added Smallwood. 

“They’ve got some of the most in-form players in the league. We’ll take great confidence from today (against Forest) and the last seven performances and we’ll be confident going into that one. 

“We’re under no illusions that it’s going to be a tough game and hopefully we’ll have a big crowd at the MKM Stadium and we can put on a show.” 

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