Head coach Steve Cooper criticized an “unacceptable” second-half capitulation as Nottingham Forest were beaten 4-0 by West Ham United.
The Reds shot themselves in the foot with their collapse after Danny Ings opened the scoring on 70 minutes. Ings made a quick brace by scoring again three minutes later, making it four in the space of a quarter hour when Declan Rice and Michail Antonio secured the three points for the hosts.
The loss at London Stadium continued Forest’s dismal form on the road, with just six points taken and three goals scored this season. And it meant their cushion for the final three was reduced to four points with 14 games to go.
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“It’s really, really disappointing. West Ham had a lot of set pieces and more territory than us in the first half, but I never felt in great danger of conceding,” Cooper said. “I thought we handled that pretty well; remember, we are far from home and you want to play your way in the game.
“We talked about some things at halftime. In fact, after the first minute or so, we started the second half well.
“We played our way into the game and got the momentum. You could feel the tension in the stadium; We talked about it and we were trying to turn it in our favor.
“And then we went down 1-0. It was a disappointing goal from our point of view, but what happened between the first and the third goal, in particular, was something that is quite difficult to fathom at the moment.
“It was unacceptable in many ways, and particularly from the point of view of mentality, concentration and decision making. Because of that, the game was completely taken away from us.
“We don’t blame anyone but ourselves. We have to deal with the problems we give ourselves.”
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