It’s not so much the setback, it’s how you bounce back. That’s the message from Chris Hughton to his Birmingham City players.
Blues face Derby County at St Andrew’s on Saturday smarting after Nottingham Forest’s win on their patch.
Forest not only brought to an end Blues unbeaten home record in the league, but halted the 15-match sequence without loss in all competitions. But one 2-1 reverse doesn’t constitute a crisis.
“You can’t go through a season without having disappointments,” said Hughton. “I didn’t think we played well enough against Forest, but I still thought we would get something from the game. We’re a good team, we’ve been on a really good run.
“What happens with any good run that ends, any disappointment, you need to show character, pick yourselves up and go again.
“Fortunately for us, which is nice, we have had no game midweek for the first time in a long time. And it will be probably the only time right through to the end of the season.
“So it’s been about getting a good rest, a good recovery and then preparing to go again for the next one.”
Hughton gave Andros Townsend his debut from the start last Saturday. Erik Huseklepp came on as a substitute for the last 22 minutes.
Both will get better with more games and the more assimilated they become insists the St Andrew’s boss.
“They both only did a couple of days training with us. Andros, you can see what he is - an out and out winger who gets crosses in. What we need to do is get bodies in box on the end of that. Perhaps it was a difficult game for him to come into, in that first-half period. But I think he showed enough.
“With Erik, we also saw what he is about. He has got that mobility, he will cover distance. They will both give us something.”
Townsend was signed from Spurs on loan to replace the departed Jean Beausejour, who joined Wigan Athletic at the end of the January transfer window.
“He’s a player that I’ve known for a long time,” said Hughton, of the former Spurs Academy product.
“Having lost jean Beausejour and Liam Ridgewell both from that left hand side it left us two players short and it was important that we replaced them with that type of quality and I believe we’ve done that in terms of Andros.
“He played very well against us at Leeds a few weeks ago. With Chris Burke playing on one side and Andros on the other it certainly gives us more of an attacking threat.”
Hughton added: “We have players who can play on that left hand side in terms of Nathan Redmond, who’s a right-footed player, Wade Elliott. Andros is more a like-for-like replacement for Jean. Jean was a player that did a good job for us on that left-hand side ,but had an offensive threat. I see Andros as that straight replacement for him.”