Forest fighting for their lives in big derby clash

There is more than just pride up for grabs in the big East Midlands derby on Saturday, when Derby County make the short journey along the A52 to take on arch-rivals Nottingham Forest at the City Ground.

Despite masterminding four home wins from six matches at the City Ground, caretaker boss Gary Brazil has been unable to pull Forest away from the relegation zone.

A 1-0 defeat to their other local Championship rivals, Burton Albion, on Saturday left the Reds just two points clear of the drop zone.

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“The rollercoaster ride that this is and has been all season has not stopped – I completely understand the importance of the weekend’s game, because we are playing Derby County,” said Brazil.

“I also understand the importance of the weekendbecause of the situation we find ourselves in.

“But when results are not going for you, you have to make them go for you — you have to make things change. It is no good feeling sorry for yourself. That will not help us at all.

“We have to stick together and we have to be resilient. We had fantastic support (at Burton) and I am massively frustrated for them that they did not get the result we all wanted.”

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Around 2,000 travelling Forest fans made their feelings known at the final whistle, chanting the players were not fit to wear the shirts.

Defender Armand Traore agreed fans were angry at being in a relegation fight and said the players understood their frustration.

He said: “They are entitled to their opinion and we heard what they were singing. It is up to us to make us right. It hurts you as players to hear fans chanting that. It hurt me.

“I was worried about going over to clap them because they looked very angry, but they should be angry. They should know that we care as well.

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“You should hear what happens in the dressing room after games like that. Last week they (the fans) were happy with us, now we have had two defeats on the bounce and they are not happy.”

Tenth-placed Derby are likely to have a new manager in place after sacking Steve McClaren on Sunday.