Huddersfield manager Danny Cowley accused Nottingham Forest’s coaching staff of showing “a lack of respect” after clashing with Sabri Lamouchi during the Terriers’ 2-1 win.
Steve Mounie bagged his first goal of the season and skipper Christopher Schindler was also on target as Huddersfield upset promotion-chasers Forest in a fiery clash at the John Smith’s Stadium.
A half-time melee saw Cowley and Forest boss Lamouchi clash on the touchline and down the tunnel as the contest boiled over, as well as at the final whistle with both sets of players getting involved.
But it was Cowley who had the last laugh as his side made it three unbeaten with a much-needed win.
“Forest were physical today and, in that moment, you either step back or step forward,” said Cowley.
“We stepped forward. No one will come here and beat us up. We stood up for ourselves today, I’m proud of the players for that.
“They came here and wanted to kick us, but no one is going to bully us. You have to have substance.
“I was a bit disappointed with their staff, they showed a lack of respect.
“Here was me thinking it was Christmas and good will to all men, but I was wrong. I just wanted to sort it out.
“We got into a really good place at 2-0 and then had our best spell, when we should have scored a third and created quite a few chances.
“But we didn’t, they scored and then we tried to see the game out. We gave up the ball and invited pressure. There’s learning to take.
“We could have made it easier for ourselves, if we’d have found the third we’d have probably seen the game out, but it didn’t happen.
“We lost control of the game and had to hang in there, but that’s what happened.”
Cowley saluted Benin international Mounie after his goal secured a welcome win in the club’s battle to avoid relegation.
“I’m really pleased for Steve Mounie,” added Cowley. “He came in and did extra work on his finishing during the week and sometimes, like today, you get what you deserve.
“He’s a really good professional, in life you reap what you sow. He’s worked incredibly hard.”
Defender Joe Worrall’s 74th-minute goal set-up a frantic finish but Forest are now without a win in five after this fractious affair.
A frustrated Lamouchi said: “I’m very disappointed with the result because we came here with the good intention to get some points.
“It’s a bad moment for us, but we need to find a solution for sure. I’m upset, but we’ve just got to keep working.
“We started in a good way and created some chances and we deserved to score first, but we need to be more efficient in the box.
“It was a story of three corners and three goals.
“At 1-0 down it’s difficult, but at 2-0 down it’s more difficult. But we tried until the end to come back in the game.
“We scored and at 2-1 we were so close to a draw. Maybe one point would have been more fair.
“But for that we need to be more efficient and more determined in boxes.
“We must adapt ourselves to play with our personality and character.”