Nottingham Forest were offered a reminder that they aren’t out of the woods as far as a relegation battle is concerned, losing 2-1 to Middlesbrough.
The Reds were second best throughout and were beaten thanks to goals from Britt Assombalonga and George Saville.
Loic Mbe Soh pulled a consolation goal back in stoppage time and Yuri Ribeiro was sent off in the dying seconds.
Forest had produced a tremendous display to defeat Millwall on Saturday but were second best all over the park here.
Forest’s defending was woeful at times and the Reds never got to grips with Neil Warnock’s team and their masterful uses of the dark arts.
Chris Hughton opted to named the same team that had beaten Millwall at the weekend and in hindsight it backfired.
Forest looked jaded from the off and were never really at the races.
Hughton will hope to see a big improvement on Saturday when the Reds travel to Swansea in the FA Cup.
It’s important for Forest to make sure this is a one-off.
Having gone seven games unbeaten prior to tonight, clearly some progress has been made.
This was firmly a step in the wrong direction, however, and Hughton must get Forest back to winning ways as quickly as possible.
In hindsight the FA Cup game comes at a bad time, with the Reds ideally preferring to focus on league points.
Ribeiro’s moment of madness late on was the final nail in Forest’s coffin against Boro.
The 23-year-old headbutted Assombalonga twice during the contest with the referee only seeing one incident.
Gaetan Bong will now come into the fold and Ribeiro will need to stew on this horror-show of a performances for three matches.
Hughton has some big decisions to make ahead of Saturday and Forest have big work to do in order to pull clear of the relegation zone.
Literally two positives all night came for the Forest goal.
Joe Lolley delivered a ball that has been so badly lacking from him this season and Mbe Soh’s header was superb.
Those two will surely start at the weekend.