We are just happy with the direction we are moving in

Last updated : 01 February 2012 By Tony Scholes

Cotterill's team just can't score goals right now and to top that off they have no defenders. Ahead of last night's game he did sign two, too late to play, but after the game he said: "We went in with a young man in Jamaal Lascelles who I thought did very well.

"He played against a very good striker in Jay Rodriguez, who I signed a few years ago, and I thought he was excellent. HIs movement for both goals was very good, but had he been against an experienced campaigner in someone like Wes Morgan maybe those opportunities might not have come.

"It was a good learning curve for Jamaal tonight but I think he can be proud of his performance. Adlene (Guedioura, new loan signing from Wolves) was very energetic and I thought he did some very good things."

The win left Howe heaping praise on his players. "It's a big win for us at a difficult ground to come, regardless of whatever season Forest are having," he said.

"They were both similar goals and two quality deliveries from Kieran, which he has done all season for us and Jay Rod has finished them off brilliantly. He is just a terrific pro and nothing fazes him. He will be disappointed with the penalty but he slipped, it's happened to the best and I won't dwell on that at all because Jay's performance was excellent again.

"After that it would have been easy to say this might not be our day, or give them a spark, but we passed the test with flying colours. Jay had the mental strength to not let it affect him and keep getting in the right positions and he got his rewards.

"It's all down to the team though, not individuals. We are a hard working outfit at the moment and we are enjoying keeping clean sheets. I just think the players are enjoying their football and each other's company.

"The behaviour at training and everything about the lads on a day to day basis is exemplary. We are building a group of players who want to learn and get better and I can't speak highly enough of them.

"We haven't spoken of targets all season and I won't start now. We are just happy with the direction we are moving in. We just want the games to come thick and fast at the moment while we are confident."