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‘I have to believe I can turn things around’ says under-fire Chris Hughton

Mick McCarthy”s Cardiff came from behind to win at the City Ground and heap more pressure on his former Italia 90 colleague.

Image: PA

CHRIS HUGHTON INSISTS he can still turn things around at Nottingham Forest, despite a nightmare start to the season that has seen them collect only one point from six Sky Bet Championship games.

Sunday’s 2-1 defeat at home to Cardiff added to their misery, with two goals from substitute Rubin Colwell helping Mick McCarthy’s side bounce back to win after Lewis Grabban had given Forest a half-time lead.

It is Forest’s worst start to a season in 108 years but under-fire Hughton remained defiant, saying: “I have to believe I can do that (turn things around). I have to. I have a group of players, I have a responsibility and we have to get results.

“However it happens, we have to find a way to win matches. That means players stepping up to the bar; that means players gelling together and all of us doing enough to get results.

“In the first half we scored a really good goal and, without playing really well, we were still the better side. Cardiff were always going to react in the second half. They are one of the biggest Championship sides I have seen.

“They play in a certain way and that has been very beneficial for them. You have to be able to cope with it. It is a tough task. But there was a period of 15 minutes where they cranked it up and were very, very direct.

“There were moments during that when we just did not cope with it.”

Colwill scored his first goal within a minute of coming off the bench, netting from close range in the 58th minute. His second, a precise finish, came 15 minutes later.

McCarthy said: “I am so pleased that he has signed a new contract because, if he hadn’t, people would be all over him like a rash, watching him get a cap with Wales and then do that today.

“His second goal was in a different class. Kieffer (Moore) just played it around the corner to him and he produced a great finish. Management can sometimes look easy, can’t it?

“What pleased me most was that we took a short throw-in; we tried something different.

“I told the players that they did not have to launch the ball into the box every single time. Be smart; be clever – do something different.

“We took a short throw, Will (Vaulks) put a great ball into the box and we had bodies in there to attack it.

“It is a great three points and a great win. We started well but then they got into it and were full of confidence after the goal.”

Cardiff were looking a threat from set pieces but it was Forest who were to take the lead in the 23rd minute with a well crafted goal.

Max Lowe, making his debut after joining on loan from Sheffield United, rampaged down the left side into space, before looking up and cutting the ball back perfectly into the path of Grabban, who netted from 10 yards.

Samba made a smart save, getting down low to his left to keep out a snapshot from James Collins, then Will Vaulks hammered a shot over following a long throw-in from Marlon Pack.

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Vaulks tried to catch out Samba with a clever free-kick early in the second half but the Forest goalkeeper got his body behind the ball.

Vaulks was involved again as Cardiff hauled themselves level in the 58th minute.

The midfielder delivered a testing cross to the far post, Forest failed to completely clear, and the ball dropped to Colwill, who forced the ball home amid a melee of players.

The goal lifted the visitors, with fellow sub Kieffer Moore hitting the base of the post with a downward header and Samba producing another sharp save to keep out a header from Aden Flint.

Forest sub Joe Lolley drove a shot wide of the post but Cardiff took the lead in the 73rd minute. Moore fed Colwill, who advanced towards goal before picking out the bottom corner with a precise, curling shot.

James Garner was only denied an equaliser by a fine save from Dillon Phillips, who kept out his free-kick.

The Cardiff keeper also kept out another Lolley effort and a powerful, spectacular strike from Yates as the Bluebirds held on for the victory.

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