Saunders salutes Piquionne
Doncaster boss hails crucial win; Cotterill angry with performance
Last Updated: March 6, 2012 11:47pm
Dean Saunders: Doncaster boss saw his side end a seven-match winless run at Forest
Dean Saunders praised on-loan striker Frederic Piquionne as Doncaster claimed all three points against a well below-par Nottingham Forest in a relegation six-pointer at the City Ground.
The crucial victory took Rovers off the foot of the Championship table and to within three points of Forest, with a game in hand over their relegation rivals who now occupy the final position of safety.
And the French striker, a month-long arrival from West Ham on Tuesday morning, capped a dull first half with a screaming 30-yard strike on the stroke of half-time.
Kyle Bennett doubled that lead within 64 second-half seconds and although Dexter Blackstock gave Forest hope just after the hour-mark but it was not enough.
Rovers ended a seven-match winless run with what is only their third away success this term and Saunders said: "We knew he had got that in his locker. I looked the other way for a split second, looked back and the ball was in the net.
"Someone mentioned to me that he normally scores on his debut and it was a great strike. He was struggling fitness wise but he certainly made an impression.
"As a team I thought we played really well and knocked the ball about great. In fact, it's probably the best we have played since I've been at the club.
"It's a massive result. I would have been happy if we had played terrible and won but the fact is that we did very well. We had to make sure that Forest didn't go nine points clear of us but that brings it back to three and we have a game in hand.
"The goalkeeper made a difference. He's catching crosses under the crossbar and calming everything down.
"But we conceded a goal to a deflection and then we faced a terrible 15 minutes at the end but we dug in and got the result we deserved."
Forest could not prevent an 11th home defeat of the season on a night for the hosts which left manager Steve Cotterill wondering what had gone wrong after his side had taken seven points from the previous three games.
He admitted: "It was a disappointing performance and we didn't show any signs of that in the last three or four games - none whatsoever.
"We had a couple of injuries before the game with Marcus Tudgay not able to start and Paul Anderson unable to take his place on the bench. That might have upset the dynamics but right at this moment I can't explain what went wrong.
"I know one thing - I am pretty angry at the moment but I will lift myself up. I'll be fine.
"The players would have been in tomorrow anyway but we'll work with them and try and recover as quickly as we can.
"We've just had two fantastic results away from home and we come back and kick ourselves in the teeth with this.
"It's not acceptable, to be honest."