Martin O’Neill conceded Aston Villa deserved their win at the City Ground on Wednesday night, but says that he was let down by the goals conceded.
Forest led early on but were soon behind, Villa wrapping the win up in the second-half.
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O’Neill said: “I think that Villa were pretty strong, my quibble is maybe the goals that we gave away.
“We got off to a great start, Lolley’s run was reminiscent of a Premiership player and we get in front. But we are not in front long enough really and we concede, from our viewpoint, not the best goal in the world and Villa got a bit of momentum and kept it going by getting a second one.
“I thought we had equalised just after half-time when Benalouane was adjudged to have fouled and then their third goal is a killer blow for us.”
Forest now prepare to head to bottom-of-the-table Ipswich on Saturday, aiming to stay in the play-off hunt with O’Neill’s men just three points outside the top six.
He added: “We are in the hunt, very much still in the hunt and we have to go and try and win on Saturday, it’s a big game for us. Tonight we just have to lick our wounds and get on with it.
“We have to come and fight again, Villa are a strong side themselves and played very well and, at the end of it all, deserved to win.
“We are disappointed, we are down, but we are not beaten yet.”