Mansfield Town boss David Flitcroft admitted it was a huge blow to lose 21-goal striker Tyler Walker to a needless suspension for the next two games.
But Flitcroft said the young Forest loanee had been forgiven for his one-fingered gesture to a linesman and called on the rest of the side to dig Walker out with goals in his absence ahead of Saturday’s visit of Cheltenham Town.
“I could sit here and tell you we’ll just move on and everything will be great, but it is a blow,” said Flitcroft.
“Tyler understands what he has done. He is very remorseful.
“It was totally out of character and out of synch for the person he is. We have put it behind us.
“We have forgiven him and he has trained brilliantly with us this week.
“We are without Tyler. He has been our talisman this season, but now we have challenged the rest of the team to step up and make sure we get goals from all around the pitch.
“We put more crosses in on Saturday than we have done all season, so there was a real intent to go and hurt Forest Green. Now, as a coaching staff, we must make sure we get players in goalscoring positions without Tyler.”
He added: The biggest disappointment for Tyler is that I have asked him to get that magic 30 and he now misses two games. It’s a lesson he has to learn.
“Sometimes young players need that. They will make mistakes. He will be better on the other side of that – more hungry and more ambitious to go and get the goals to help us achieve promotion.
“We will miss him and he will miss not being available and being able to add to his goals tally. He is desperate to score more goals for us.”