Derby captain not dwelling on 5-0 thrashing of Nottingham Forest

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Richard Keogh has insisted that Derby County are fully prepared to face their rivals this weekend, and that last season’s victory over Nottingham Forest has been forgotten.

Derby County fans can both praise and show disappointment at their captain for his performances last season.

Having captained the Rams to the Championship play-off final, Keogh was then responsible for Queens Park Rangers' victory in the dying minutes, as his weak clearance fell to Bobby Zamora, who promptly doomed Derby to a further year in the second tier of English football.

However, he failed to shirk his responsibilities and has started this season in impeccable form, failing to miss a single game as the Rams sit just outside the play-off places heading into the weekend - and a trip to East Midlands' rivals Nottingham Forest.

The last time the sides met was a memorable day for Derby, who inflicted a 5-0 defeat on Forest, equalling their biggest ever victory over their rivals as they stormed their way through the Championship last season.

However, the reverse fixture at the City Ground was a 1-0 victory for Forest, and with Stuart Pearce’s men flying high at the top of the table, Keogh is well aware that past results mean nothing on upcoming games.

Speaking to Dcfc.co.uk, the 28-year old said: They have obviously had a great start and they will be flying come Sunday. With Stuart Pearce going back there, there is a lot more expectation and a lot more atmosphere around the ground.

“For us, though, it’s a great game, we are really looking forward to it and we are concentrating ourselves. Come Sunday, we know how much it is going to mean and we will be ready. Any defeat like that would hurt, and being in Derby, it probably hurt a little bit more.

“For us, it was a great day, but it’s gone now. It’s gone now and that was last season and we have forgotten about that. It was a great day at the time and it will go down in history, but it’s a new season, a new start and this game on Sunday is an important one for us and we will be ready to go.”

With the fixture a confirmed sell-out, Pearce has already stated that he wants the Forest fans to drive their team to victory, and the Rams captain is keen to focus upon the game at hand, rather than getting drawn into off-field affairs.

“It’s obviously a tough place to go, there’s going to be a great atmosphere and one that you relish, as a player, to be involved in," he said.

“Big derby games come with a great atmosphere and we know it’s going to be a tough game but we are just going to concentrate on ourselves. We know there is still more to come from us.”

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