Sheffield United boss sends match officials message after Nottingham Forest play-offs defeat
Sheffield United boss Paul Heckingbottom has claimed Forest were fortunate to have not given away a penalty in the Reds' 2-1 win on Saturday.
Forest got their play-off campaign underway with a positive showing at Bramall Lane as goals from Jack Colback and Brennan Johnson gave them the advantage. Sander Berge scored a late goal to reduce the deficit for the hosts, but they still have work to do when they head to the City Ground on Tuesday (May 17) night for the second-leg.
The visitors dominated proceedings during the first-half and could have been well out of sight had Sam Surridge and Johnson converted the chances they had.
But Blades boss Heckingbottom has appealed for the match officials to keep a close eye on Forest's defending of set-pieces during the second-leg after he claimed the hosts should have been awarded a penalty. The comments came after Berge went down in the area down inside the penalty area under challenge from James Garner but despite his appeals, referee Andre Marriner waved play on.
“Forest drag people down in the box,” he said. “They do it every game but have only, I think, given one penalty away from it. That’s not complaining. It’s just us trying to exploit something."
“We have to go there and be positive,” Heckingbottom added, admitting he was disappointed with many aspects of his team’s performance. “But we aren’t going to go there and just open ourselves up to their strengths.
"If it is still 2-1 with 10 minutes to go, we're still in it. It’s still game on. We are still in this.”