Bowyer accepted his team did not play as well as in last week's draw against Derby but felt the players deserved credit for the spirit they displayed during the game.
"It wasn't a classic of a game but I thought we showed fighting qualities and we pushed Forest as close as we possibly could," Bowyer said.
"In my opinion, they're one of the favourites with the manager they've got and the money they've got, so we've got some positives to take.
"We haven't played as well as we can. With the ball in the first half, we looked nervous with some making their home debuts.
"We settled down a little bit more in the second half and I always thought it was going to be a set-play, a wonder strike or a mistake that wins that type of game and so it was."
The defeat means Rovers remain winless in three games this season but Bowyer remained positive and they could have scored a goal of their own in the first half but for a wayward Jordan Rhodes header.
He added: "We've got to keep showing the football that we played last Sunday with the ball and the fighting qualities we've shown here, piece them together game by game and see where it takes us.
"I think the fans will know we haven't played as well as last week but what they can't fault is the effort and fighting qualities that they showed. A lot has been said in past seasons about our fighting qualities but you can't knock the players about that. They gave everything."