Nottingham Forest manager Billy Davies was left rueing a "missed opportunity" after watching his side squander the chance to go second in the npower Championship with a shock 1-0 defeat at Scunthorpe.

The only goal came after 19 minutes when Chris Dagnall and Forest full-back Chris Gunter challenged for the ball and it finished in the Forest net.

Scunthorpe's win was their first at Glanford Park since August, ending the visitors' 10-game unbeaten run.

The final score, however, belied the possession and chances afforded to Forest, who failed to score due to a mixture of inept finishing, resolute defending and goal-line clearances.

Davies said: "You'll have seen this Scunthorpe team at Cardiff and they lost to a late goal and I said before the game they were scrapping for everything.

"We've given a goal away from naive play, stupid play, and we talked about that before the game.

"Then we spend the rest of the time controlling possession and having many chances, but it just seemed as if it was one of those nights where it didn't quite go for us.

"We hit the bar as well, but in the end the opening 35 minutes or so really cost us dearly because we did not come out and play to the surface or the surroundings."

Despite the surprise defeat, Davies praised the attitude his side showed - which he believes will be vital in the Championship run-in.

"You can never question their commitment," Davies added. "They are young and they've got a lot to learn at times - and we've seen that here.

"What is required between now and the end of the season is a mental character and that is what will decide whether you win or lose things.

"We have got to realise that this is a missed opportunity."

Scunthorpe manager Ian Baraclough, meanwhile, was relieved to be finally talking about success after his team secured their first victory of 2011.

The Iron boss, however, was keen to stress that his players need to get into a winning habit if they are to stave off relegation.

"It is only three points, it is a start," he said after the match.

"We said in the dressing room that if you don't put in that amount of effort on Saturday against Derby you will get beaten. It is as simple as that.

"This was everything we showed in the Cardiff game and more. And again if they don't reproduce that on Saturday they will get beaten because that is the sort of division it is.

"And from now until the end of the season we've got to put out that level of performance and get some consistency."

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Topics:
#Chris Dagnall
#Championship
#Nottingham Forest
#Chris Gunter
#Ian Baraclough
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