Hughton admits Forest were given a 'real test' by Cobblers in pre-season friendly
'We needed Smudger to make a couple of very good saves for us. It could have gone either way.'
Nottingham Forest manager Chris Hughton admitted Tuesday's pre-season friendly at Sixfields could have gone 'either way' after his side were given a 'real test' by the Cobblers.
Town started the game with good tempo and intensity and enjoyed the better of the first-half but could not force the breakthrough against a Forest team heavily tipped for a promotion challenge this season.
The visitors named a strong line-up but still had Lyle Taylor to call upon from the bench and he made an instant impact as a half-time substitute, scoring the opener just three minutes into the second-half.
Cafu's fabulous long-range strike then doubled the lead as Forest emerged victorious, but not without the odd scare, as the visiting manager acklowledged afterwards.
“It was a tough game, particularly in the first-half," admitted Hughton. "They came out with a bit of energy.
“We were better in the second-half. I thought we had to work harder in the first-half to get as much of the ball as I would have liked.
“The game was a real test, and the first-half even more so, and I would have liked us to have been better.
“A couple of moments for the goals counted, but we needed Smudger to make a couple of very good saves for us. It could have gone either way.
“It was a stronger XI, and I think that will be the same going into the next couple of games.”