Nottingham Forest 1 Middlesbrough: Boro need a cutting edge to reach play-offs – Strachan

Middlesbrough manager Gordon Strachan felt his players deserved more than they got after going down at automatic promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest.

The visitors were caught out in the one moment in the match in which they left holes at the back.

Polish star Radi Majewski broke free from the halfway line in the 72nd minute, the move was carried on by Dexter Blackstock and Chris Cohen was left in space to beat Danny Coyne with an angled left foot effort.

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Majewski had gone close with two earlier 25-yard efforts and Robert Earnshaw might have done better after being put through by Cohen.

But they were isolated scares and for all their composure on the ball, Boro were largely bereft of clear-cut chances.

The nearest they came to an equaliser was when substitute Leroy Lita saw a left-foot shot diverted just wide by Forest goalkeeper Lee Camp.

But Strachan felt his players deserved to take something from a contest they controlled for long periods.

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"I could not see them scoring but, fair play to them, they came up with the one goal that mattered," said Strachan.

"When you are on a good run – as Forest are – you get the breaks. Everything seemed to land at their feet but maybe it just wasn't to be for us.

"We looked comfortable against one of the best sides in the league but we needed a break. All the same I have got to congratulate my players for their performance. If we get a cutting edge to our play we have a chance of making the play-offs."

Forest manager Billy Davies was bursting with pride after seeing his side break a 30-year record with a ninth successive home win in one season.

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"The run of home victories pleases me enormously but so does the fact that it was our 15th clean sheet," he said.

Nottingham Forest: Camp, Gunter, Morgan, Wilson, Perch, Anderson (Adebola 89), McKenna, Majewski (Moussi 80), Cohen, Earnshaw (McGoldrick 75), Blackstock. Unused substitutes: Smith, Chambers, McGugan, Garner.

Middlesbrough: Coyne, Naughton, Wheater, McManus, Pogatetz, Flood, O'Neil, Robson, Arca (Franks 80), McDonald, Aliadiere (Lita 67). Unused substitutes:Steele, Hoyte, Miller, Grounds, Taylor.

Referee: P Crossley (Kent).

Man-of-the-match: Gary O'Neil.