Nottingham Forest midfielder Ryan Yates has jumped to the defence of Brice Samba following his moment of madness against Stoke on Saturday.

The Reds had to play the final 10 minutes of the game against 10 men after the stopper was dismissed for punching Phil Jagielka.

That saw referee Leigh Doughty point to the spot and give Samba his marching orders. Lewis Baker scored the spot-kick to put Stoke in front with just a few minutes of normal time remaining.

Samba’s key moment saw lots of fans jump on him on social media. Despite his brilliance throughout the game, many felt that he’d cost Forest dearly.

Nottingham Forest v Stoke City - Sky Bet Championship
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It was Yates who spared Samba’s blushes with a header in injury-time and he’s praised the goalkeeper despite his error of judgement.

He told The Athletic: “Brice has been unbelievable all season. He’s been one of our standout players. He has made mistakes before. We all have.

“The lads never got on my back when it’s happened and the lads will not hold it against him. It is just one of those things. He does need to learn from this but we’ll be supportive of him.”

Yates comment on Samba suggests spirit is high at Forest

This has been coming really. For weeks Samba has been running a tightrope and now a match official has finally caught up with him.

But, even against Stoke, he was desperately impressive even before his error saw him dismissed by the referee.

Like many other players, Samba has kicked on under Steve Cooper and is firmly established as the club’s number one goalkeeper.

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Ethan Horvath now has a big chance but you can bet your bottom dollar that Samba will bounce back from this.

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