Date:Monday November 20 2006
Colin Calderwood today challenged Nottingham Forest to get back in the winning habit quickly to maintain their lead at the top of League One.
The Reds boss was delighted with the character shown by his players, as they found themselves having to battle back from behind for the first time in an away game this season.
And he said that the point earned from the 1-1 draw at Rotherham could prove to be as important as any victory this season.
But he also warned that, with Bristol City and Scunthorpe having closed the gap at the top, it is vital for Forest to put together another string of victories, after seeing their run of seven consecutive wins come to an end at Millmoor.
''It is nice not to have lost, but I don't like draws. I like wins. Back-to-back victories are huge in terms of the league,'' said Calderwood.
''We have got to try to do that again. We have to do it in little segments, we will build again. The importance of back-to-back victories between now and the end of the season will be huge.
''We have got a little gap at the top if we can pick up a steady run of victories it will become almost impossible for anybody to bridge it.
''The other teams behind us have won, but we had the most difficult game. We are not aware of what is happening to the other teams during the game.
''But when you come off you see the importance of the point. The enthusiasm of the group, their refusal not to accept that it wasn't going to be their day was encouraging.
''This was a full-blooded game. We were tested and stood up strong.
Coming back from behind has proved that we have another weapon to our bow if we need it.''
A goal from substitute Nathan Tyson earned Forest a point, but Calderwood felt it was a team effort that brought Forest back into the game. ''We have an arsenal on the bench, Jack, Grant Holt and Nathan,'' he said. ''It worked out well for us, but it was not the substitutions that got us three points, it was the ability of the players.
''We were in a tricky situation, but being 1-0 down away from home is no disgrace. But we kept going and I am delighted with the response. They had an excellent bit of individual talent from Hoskins for their goal. The game was very hard and very even and the first goal was going to be important.
''It looked for a while as though we would not get a foothold, but credit to the boys, they persevered. The importance of staying in the game for 15 minutes after they had scored was there to see, when we got the late equaliser. That got us out of jail.
''We almost sneaked a win, that would have been us nipping in and stealing three points. But you talk about the type of victories we are going to get this season - and a point like this can be almost as important in some ways.
''Finding ourselves behind in the game was a different test of character. I will leave everyone else to decide if it was fair, but I would have felt hard done by if we had ended up losing.''
Calderwood says that Tyson will be a growing influence as he regains his fitness. ''You have to give fairness in selection,'' he said. ''Nathan is way ahead of his expected recovery time, so we use the advantage of having him there to come on. It is another problem for their defence to cope with.
''His pace gets him into good positions and he finished the goal as we know he can, with the same instinct that got him goals last season.
''I told him that I was going to start with the same front three and he understood. He is desperate to score goals and I told him it was going to come,'' added Calderwood.
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