Cotterill wants card overturned

Forest continue to pull away from the relegation zone after win

Steve Cotterill: Nottingham Forest manager relieved to see his side hold on for win

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Nottingham Forest manager Steve Cotterill admits he will be "amazed" if Garath McCleary's red card is not overturned.

Forest saw off Peterborough 1-0 and the win moves them seven points clear of the drop zone, courtesy of Dexter Blackstock's winner which came after 38 minutes.

McCleary was harshly sent off after 69 minutes for a challenge on Grant McCann but Forest showed their resilience to hold out for the win.

Cotterill said: "We could have been home and dry by half-time but you always fear you may get hit by a sucker-punch at 1-0.

"Thankfully that didn't happen and we did well to keep our concentration after going down to 10 men to get a good result.

"I will be amazed if the red card is not rescinded, though. I thought the referee [Carl Boyeson] was hasty when making the decision and I gather he feels he may have made a mistake.

Charming

"I take my hat off to Carl Boyeson if that is the case so hopefully the decision will be looked at, although I may not have been so charming if we had lost 2-1."

Cotterill was forced into a late change after midfielder Guy Moussi injured a calf in the warm-up, handing Lewis McGugan an unexpected return from the wilderness.

It did little to affect Forest as they controlled the game. Posh goalkeeper Paul Jones had provided one-man resistance before finally being beaten by Blackstock in the 38th minute, the striker turning on a smart low cross from McCleary and finishing with the aid of the underside of the bar.

Forest had 16 efforts on goal in the first half alone, while Posh rarely threatened.

They did see a strong penalty appeal turned down soon after falling behind when George Boyd appeared to be shoved by Forest defender Joel Lynch, but moments of alarm for the visiting defence were few and far between.

The hosts' hopes of forcing their way back into the contest were boosted by the dismissal of McCleary, but they never looked like making the most of their numerical advantage.

Disappointing

Posh boss Darren Ferguson admitted his side were some way short of their best, but believes they have done enough to stay up.

He said: "We're nine points clear of the bottom three with four games to go, so we'll be fine.

"I have to admit we were disappointing today, though. It was just a case of being one game too many for our small squad and we had very little left in the tank.

"We tried all sorts of different systems and permutations, but it was one of those days where nothing came off."

Peterborough lost striker Emile Sinclair to an ankle injury early on, while skipper McCann soldiered through to the end after turning an ankle in the second half.