Forest were on course to win despite wasting a number of chances but were made to pay by an equaliser in the fifth minute of stoppage time as Reading earned a 1-1 draw in the Sky Bet Championship.
"You can see just what we need and I've been saying that for a few weeks."
"The game should have been over, well and truly done. We were just not clinical up front and we should have had a second goal, a third and a fourth. We've got to kill teams off.
"Nine tenths of our game was good. We just didn't defend in the last 10 seconds and it felt like a defeat.
"We may have got seven points from nine but it should have been more. That was definitely two points dropped. Everyone agrees that."
Forest had not lost since going down 3-2 to Reading at the City Ground in late November and were in good heart after successive home wins over QPR and Leeds United during the Christmas period.
In contrast, Reading had been beaten in four of their past five matches and in their last three in a row.
Reading manager Nigel Adkins believes that Stephen Kelly's late intervention could inject new life into their campaign.
"We've stopped the rot, we've stopped that losing trend," Adkins said.
"People can maybe now look at the positives and not the negatives. We've taken four points off a team who we expect to be at the top and challenging with us for promotion.
"We left it late but better late than never. We showed a lot of character to keep going, got back into it and were in the ascendancy at the end.
"We were peppering their goal. If we can stay in the play-off race and get most of our injured players fit again, we'll have better opportunities in March and April."
Forest dominated the opening stages in the driving rain at the Madejski Stadium and they went ahead in the 36th minute.
Andy Reid lofted a free-kick into the home area and Greg Halford, a former Reading player, guided home a looping header for his third goal in as many games.
Forest controlled much of the proceedings, with Henri Lansbury and Reid to the fore in midfield, but missed numerous chances in the second half to confirm their superiority.
Halford should have added a second goal but sent a tame header straight at Reading keeper Alex McCarthy.
Substitute Matt Derbyshire should also have done better from two opportunities.
He drove weakly wide after he had been sent clear by Jamie Paterson and then, after another slick Forest move, he was again well off target with his final effort.
Reading were fortunate to escape but launched a furious late rally.
Derbyshire atoned for his earlier errors by nodding off the line a firm Alex Pearce header from a Danny Guthrie corner.
Forest keeper Karl Darlow also saved well from Nick Blackman and Guthrie.
But Darlow could do nothing as Kelly headed in his first goal for the club, from a Royston Drenthe free-kick, in the 95th minute.