Philippe Montanier praised his Nottingham Forest side for their patience after seeing them finally break the stubborn resolve of nine-man Newcastle to claim a grind out 2-1 City Ground win last night.
It needed an 86th-minute own goal from former Forest man Jamaal Lascelles to secure the Reds’ third-straight Championship win.
Matt Ritchie gave Newcastle the lead in between two missed penalties for the home side – incidents which also saw Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett red carded, both for fouls on Henri Lansbury.
But firstly Nicklas Bendtner and then Lansbury were denied by the heroics of another former Forest man, keeper Karl Darlow.
Ex-Sunderland loanee Bendtner pulled Forest level, but they had to wait until the final few minutes to secure all three points.
“We had to be patient in the second half to push higher, to get a lot of crosses in and create opportunities to score. We had to respect the plan but we did that and we got the goal at the end,” said Montanier.
“It was difficult for me to see whether they were clear penalties, but we cannot change the referee’s decision.
“We were on a downer after missing the two penalties, but I told the players to be clear in their minds – we had 45 minutes still to win the game and we knew we only needed a few seconds to score a goal.
“We had to forget the penalties and be patient – and we were. They had nine men and we had to move the ball. We had to deliver crosses and get bodies in the box.
“We needed to be accurate with the crosses. But the most important thing is that we got the two goals and the three points.”
l Hearts are seeking a new head coach, with Newcastle coach Ian Cathro top of their wanted list, after Robbie Neilson agreed terms to become boss of MK Dons.
Neilson said: “I’m delighted. It’s great to be here and I’m looking forward to developing the club, developing the players and moving the club forward.