Birmingham v N Forest reaction
Steve Cotterill had nothing but praise for Nottingham Forest after they became the first Championship team to win at Birmingham this season.
Cotterill was pleased in particular with his striker Dexter Blackstock. who scored the two goals which gave Forest back-to-back wins for the first time since October and a big boost in their bid to avoid relegation.
Commenting upon Blackstock's performance, Cotterill said: "He has done fantastically well to come back from a very serious injury.
"There have been signs over the last three weeks that he has been coming back to his old form.
"All credit to him to come back from the injury. It has been amazing. He has had a real bad injury and has shown great character. He has done remarkably well to come back and play. That is how bad the injury was and it could easily have finished him.
"He did well scoring twice against a Birmingham side that has been fantastic this season. I do not want to take anything away from them in our elation.
"We have to be pleased for ourselves in picking up this win. It is a huge fillip for us but at Forest we are humble about our victories as we have not had many."
Birmingham, who suffered their first defeat in 13 Championship games, were undoubtedly destroyed by Blackstock, who scored for the first time in 15 months.
Making only his third start of the season the lively Forest striker opened the scoring in the 29th minute when he coolly side-footed home a close-range effort from Garath McCleary's right-wing cross.
Off-key Birmingham struggled to find some rhythm and it was not until a concentrated spell of attacking pressure at the start of the second half when Chris Burke equalised in the 55th minute for the promotion hopefuls.
But it was a false hope as McCleary and Blackstock combined again in the 64th minute. This time Blackstock took the ball on his chest and lashed home the winner to the consternation of Birmingham's boss, Chris Hughton, who saw Keith Fahey hit the post in a hectic last minute.
Afterwards Hughton said: "The performance was disappointing but at 1-1 I thought we were going to get a result.
"You always hold up your hands if a team come and play really well and deserve to win but generally I don't think, although it was not one of our better performances, we deserved to lose the game.
"That makes it even more disappointing to lose to a Nottingham Forest side I believe will avoid relegation."
Hughton admitted that he had to speak in strong terms at half-time after a poor first period.
He said: "You have to get into them and assess what went wrong.
"We were not ourselves on a difficult pitch in the first half, we didn't get the ball down into some good passages of play.
"As a result we didn't give our front two quality balls to hurt Forest. So it was not a surprise to be trailing but we were better in the second half and after Burke equalised the general feeling that if one team was going on to win, it would be us.
"I got a response in the second and I am really disappointed to lose.
Losing our unbeaten record is tough to take but you have to give Forest credit. It was a dogged performance."
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