Nottingham Forest legend: Derby victory 'important' for club and fans

Stuart Pearce is looking forward to the East Midlands derby this weekend, as he looks to extend Forest’s unbeaten start to the season.

Appointed Reds manager over the summer, club legend Pearce - who made over 400 appearances at the City Ground during his playing career - has led Forest to four victories in their first five Championship games.

Currently sitting atop the table, with a single-point lead over their closest rivals Watford, Pearce has received praise from all corners for his on-pitch management, as well as his transfer business. Having signed Britt Assombalonga, Michail Antonio and Matty Fryatt during the summer, Pearce’s three new men have played a key part in Forest storming to the top of the table.

Following the international break, Forest restart their Championship campaign by hosting local rivals Derby County, who have failed to kick on from their Play-Off Final defeat last season - having won just two of their games this term.

Whilst the Rams will be looking to start their campaign proper with victory over Forest, Pearce is fully committed to defeating the rivals - and is hoping that the sell-out crowd will lead the team to victory.

Speaking to the official Forest website, the former England man said: "Any time you can sell a stadium out, you know it will be a special occasion. This game means a lot to the supporters but it also means a lot to us as well. We want to hold onto our place at the top of the table going into Sunday evening.

"It was a fixture I loved playing in as a player. Hopefully we can put a marker down against one of our big rivals for promotion and secure an important victory for ourselves and the fans.

"Two out of our three home games have been sell-outs so you cannot ask any more of the fans. I'm looking forward to the game on Sunday but even more so I'm looking forward to what will be a fantastic atmosphere.”

Despite the two week break of Championship action brought on by a round of international fixtures, Pearce is keen to see his side pick up where they left off.

"I think the break came at a good time for us. It finished off a block of matches where we stayed unbeaten and now we have to build another run going into this next block of games.

"We feel that we're in a pretty good place. The squad have a mentality which means they want to improve and want to work harder than the opposition and that really buoys me."

With a win, Forest will be guaranteed top spot come the end of the weekend, whilst a result for Derby could see them move into the play-off places.

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