Leeds United 0 Nottingham Forest 0: Redfearn hopes to keep Antenucci

Dougie Freedman was happy to go home with a draw after his Nottingham Forest side played out a 0-0 stalemate at Leeds.

The Leeds players defend a Henri Lansbury free-kick.
The Leeds players defend a Henri Lansbury free-kick.

Forest had won six of their first eight games under the Scot to fire up thoughts of a late run to the play-offs, and although that remains an option, this was a game they should have won in order to make that a reality.

There was no denying Forest had the better moments - Chris Burke and Ben Osborn drawing smart saves from Marco Silvestri - but they never managed to beat the Italian and headed back on the M1 with a point.

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For Freedman, though, it was a matter of perspective.

“I’m happy with a point,” he said. “Because of the run we’re on and the standards we’ve set, we expect to win games.

“We have to be realistic and to come to Leeds and get a point is a good result. We were the better team, I think we had the better chances.

“When we take a deep breath on Monday morning it’ll still be a good point.”

Forest sit eight points outside of the top six and their slim play-off hopes remain alive.

“We’ve been an outside chance before the game and still are,” Freedman said.

“We have to play Wolves and Brentford, and we can see where we are. We came to Leeds and didn’t get beat - an achievement on its own.”

It was also a point gained for Leeds, who are headed for a mid-table finish, something they would have settled for at the turn of the year when they found themselves just a point above the drop zone.

“I think it (a point) was about right,” head coach Neil Redfearn said.

“I thought we had the best chance with Charlie Taylor, who should have scored, but I thought both sides played well and were tight at the back.

“Some days you can come up against someone organised and it doesn’t quite happen.”

Redfearn sent Italian striker Mirco Antenucci on as a second-half substitute on a day when he was linked with a move to Norwich.

Antenucci has eight goals this season but has not scored since December 6, yet Redfearn does not want to lose the former Catania man.

“He’s a good player and a good goalscorer and you want to keep your better players,” Redfearn said.

“He wants to play but you can only pick 11 players and we’ve been sticking with the lads that have been doing well.

“I rate him highly and there’s no way that I want him to go.”