Martin O’Neill saw his Nottingham Forest side’s play-off hopes dealt a significant blow last night as they lost to Aston Villa.
The Northern Irishman has spoken on numerous occasions about his side’s inability to win back-to-back games. It’s something which has been a huge issue for the Reds all season.
Despite yesterday’s result, the Reds remain just three points off the play-offs. O’Neill remained positive about his side’s chances in his post-match press conference.
He told the Nottingham Post: “We are still in the hunt; we are very much still in the hunt. We have to go and win on Saturday, in what is a big game for us.
“But tonight we will lick our wounds and get on with it.
“We got off to a great start, with Lolley’s run reminiscent of a Premier League player – but we were not in front for long enough.”
In truth, once the Reds found themselves behind, they never really looked like getting themselves back into the game. It was a disappointing performance considering they had won four successive matches at the City Ground.
A chance to bounce back
Fortunately for them, the Reds have an opportunity to bounce back before the international break.
They travel to Portman Road at the weekend to take on the division’s bottom side Ipswich Town. The Reds realistically need to secure three points if they want to stay in the play-off hunt.
But this is something they haven’t managed to do away from home since 24 November.
It certainly won’t be an easy task against the Tractor Boys. Under the management of Paul Lambert, they seem to be playing with freedom which makes them a very dangerous opponent.
The fact they’ve managed to pick up points away at fellow promotion hopefuls West Bromwich Albion and Bristol City in their last two games proves that.
If the Reds can come out of that game victorious though, then it’ll be a boost heading into the break. When they return, they face two more winnable games against Swansea City and Rotherham United.
Yesterday’s result certainly hasn’t ended the Reds’ play-offs hopes. But there’s no doubt they need to find some consistency before time runs out.