Injury-hit Nottingham Forest’s push for promotion suffered a setback with a 4-1 home defeat against Wigan Athletic at the City Ground on Saturday.
The Reds went into the City Ground clash with their fellow play-off hopefuls reeling from the news that key central defender Jack Hobbs had been ruled out for the remainder of the season with an ankle injury.
And things got worse for Billy Davies’ side on the pitch as goals from Martyn Waghorn, Emmerson Boyce, James McArthur and Jordi Gomez inflicted the Reds’ first home defeat since November.
The win for the Latics also sees them move to within three points of fifth-placed Forest and with a game in hand.
Jamie Paterson’s second-half equaliser had briefly given the Reds hope, but Davies admitted afterwards that a ‘lack of confidence’ was affecting his side.
He told www.nottinghamforest.co.uk: “I thought their first goal came against the run of play. We had three excellent chances to take the lead before they scored following a couple of lucky ricochets. I was disappointed with that because I thought we’d competed very well up until that point.
“We got the equaliser and built up some good momentum. At 1-1 the game could have gone either way but then we showed absolute naivety to concede the second and third goals. There is just a lack of confidence at the moment which is costing us.”
In addition to Hobbs’ injury lay off, Forest went into the game with Darius Henderson unavailable and Guy Moussi absent due to family issues.
The Reds currently have Chris Cohen, Henri Lansbury, David Vaughan and Dexter Blackstock all on the long-term casualty list, while Kelvin Wilson and Andy Reid are also on the sidelines. Returning full-back Eric Lichaj also went off yesterday to add further woe.
But Davies believes the treatment room could become a less busier place in the coming weeks.
He said: “There is better news on the injury front. Kelvin Wilson and Andy Reid are on the way back, Guy Moussi should be with us next weekend and maybe one more as well. So the next 14 days should leave us much better prepared to face the last 10 or so games of the season.
“We’ve lost eight or nine of our best players yet we’re still in the top six. That would have seemed delusional earlier in the season. We’re picking from a depleted squad but the guys out there today gave it their all as they have every week.”