Nottingham Forest were looking for leaders against Derby County on Saturday, with big performances from big characters required in an adrenalin-fuelled encounter.
Jack Hobbs did not disappoint, with the commanding centre-half putting in an inspirational display.
He was handed the captain’s armband again at the iPro Stadium and revelled in that responsibility.
It may have been Britt Assombalonga and Ben Osborn that stole the headlines with their goalscoring exploits on derby day, but defensive lynchpins also deserve plenty of praise.
Stuart Pearce was a boss under pressure heading into the game, but a man famed for his whole-hearted approach during his playing days would have been proud of the effort put in by his skipper.
|Match||Duel Won||Aerial Won||Outfielder Block||Total Tackle||Won Tackle||Total Clearance||Mins Played|
|Jack Hobbs||Derby vs Forest||10||6||1||3||2||14||90|
|Eric Lichaj||Derby vs Forest||10||2||1||5||5||3||90|
|Todd Kane||Derby vs Forest||5||0||0||3||3||4||90|
|Kelvin Wilson||Derby vs Forest||3||3||1||0||0||7||90|
The Opta statistics above help to show just how important Hobbs was to the Forest cause over the weekend.
His return from injury has offered a timely boost to the City Ground ranks, with his presence at the heart of the back four greatly missed.
He dominated in the air and on the ground against Derby, with the 26-year-old prepared to put his body on the line.
Keeping Chris Martin quiet and starving him of service was always going to be important for Forest, and Hobbs ensured that the Scotland international barely got a sniff as he took control of the aerial battle and helped to sweep up on a remarkable 14 occasions – double the amount of clearances put in by his centre-half partner Kelvin Wilson.