Lee Johnson joked that he might contact the England Under-21 squad to ask for assurances that Tammy Abraham will return fit from the international break.

Lee Johnson prays for Tammy Abraham's safe return from U21 duty

Lee Johnson prays for Tammy Abraham's safe return from U21 duty

So important has the Chelsea loanee, who celebrates his 19th birthday tomorrow, become to City's season that his head coach is reluctant to see him depart from Ashton Gate, even for a matter of days.

Abraham warmed up for what could be his England Under-21 debut in Kazakhstan next week by scoring one goal - his 11th of the season - and making the other as the Robins moved into fourth place in the Championship table.

And that moved a smiling Johnson to say: "I am thinking of ringing up whoever I can in the England set-up to beg them not to allow Tammy to be injured.

"It's his birthday tomorrow and I'll send him a text. If I don't send him a cake I hope he won't get the hump like Yaya Toure!"

Of his team's performance, Johnson added:"The attitude of the players at the end of a really tough run of games was little short of miraculous.

"I had to change things at half-time. It was no reflection on the players taken off, but we had to get more attacking options on the field.

"We had a bit of luck with the back-pass for Tammy's goal, but our pressing was good throughout and Tammy still had to finish it.

"The second goal demoralised Forest and sometimes things are written in the stars, like Jamie Paterson scoring against his old club."

Abraham turned the game when intercepting an Henri Lansbury back-pass on 65 minutes and rounding goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic before slotting into an empty net.

Three minutes later the brilliant young striker turned goal-maker with the perfect lay-off inside the box for Paterson to shoot home from 10 yards. It was Paterson's first goal for City and against the club they signed him from this summer.

Forest had taken a 33rd-minute lead when Ben Osborn was allowed to advance unchallenged down the left and clipped a dangerous cross into the box. Lansbury won the header and the ball dropped for Apostolos Vellios, who hooked home a right-footed volley from 10 yards.

Forest head coach Philippe Montanier said: "We had good control of the game except for a spell of about eight minutes that cost us the result.

"I thought we played well in the first half and deserved to lead 1-0. We knew Bristol City would push onto our back four in the second half, but we were strong and just lost the game in that vital eight minutes.

"Bristol played well, but I thought we deserved something and it is tough on my players to lose after that performance.

"They gave everything to come back at the end. But we lacked a little concentration with the goals and when trying to create offensively.

"It is difficult to enjoy a defeat and I prefer to focus on the work we need to do to turn games like this into a draw or a victory.

"What we are doing at the moment is not sufficient. We need to be more efficient and take care of the details which make the difference in a close match."