Sky Bet Championship: Bolton and Nottingham Forest managers praise striker
Last Updated: 18/08/14 10:59am
Britt Assombalonga's first goals for Nottingham Forest earned the former Peterborough star praise from manager Stuart Pearce despite The Reds surrendering their 100 per cent winning start to the new campaign.
Assombalonga struck two equalisers in the first half after battling Bolton led through on-loan Cardiff striker Joe Mason and defender David Wheater.
Wales international Craig Davies wasted a late chance to win it for Wanderers though Pearce felt his team should have taken all three points.
"With our attacking play we probably deserved to win," he said. "We gifted Bolton the first goal, let alone the second, with a poor defensive hash up.
"We have some real talent in the team and some real endeavour as well so I am really pleased with what I have seen so far.
"In all honesty if we play to the best of our ability I will always come away disappointed we haven't won a game."
Pearce, however, was more upbeat over his new £5 million acquisition Assombalonga.
"He is an outstanding player with a great goalscoring record," he said.
"On top of that he also has a great work rate for the team though I have to give Matty Fryatt a special mention. He did a lot of unselfish work, dropping into the hole to allow Britt to play further up the field."
Mason, in his third spell at the Macron Stadium, headed home Jay Spearing's free kick after four minutes to give Bolton the lead. Forest levelled when Michail Antonio's far post header was lashed home by Assombalonga after 27 minutes.
Wheater restored Bolton's lead two minutes later after sloppy defending from the visitors before skipper Spearing scythed down Assombalonga who dusted himself down and drove his spot kick through Adam Bogdan's legs.
Assombalonga could have completed a hat-trick but headed narrowly wide while the industrious Andy Reid dinked a cheeky effort on to the roof of Bogdan's net.
For all their effort Forest could have lost but Davies headed over from Kevin McNaughton's cross.
Wanderers boss Dougie Freedman had his own praise for Assombalonga.
"It looks money well spent. If you have any change in your pocket, pass it my way," he laughed.
"It looks like a good buy. He is young, he looks hungry, he steps up and takes penalties.
"Yes, I am a bit jealous but good luck to the kid. We saw him a couple of seasons ago in Watford reserves," added the former Crystal Palace boss. "So, he has come along at the right pace."
On the game Freedman added: "I thought it was a very good attacking display by two teams and a good advertisement for the Championship.
"I felt a fair result was a draw. We played against a very good team who have spent a bit of money but I didn't think there was a lot in the game."
Freedman had no complaints with the penalty award against his side.
"Jay lives on the line but you can't criticise because in the game we play sometimes you are going to step over that line," he said.
On Mason's goal he said: "When you have strikers of Joe's quality you expect him to do that. I thought his link-up play with Craig Davies was fantastic and they gelled well."