Nottingham Forest are busy working hard ahead of facing Derby County at the City Ground next Monday.

The Reds will renew their fierce rivalry with the Rams with both sides still in the hunt for a top-six finish.

Derby’s chances are slightly more realistic than Forest’s at the moment and the incentive for the Reds is to derail their rivals bid for a play-off place.

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

It is perhaps a little cliched, but the game represents a chance to win three more points.

Nothing more, nothing less. The same as any other game and three points.

Of course, that isn’t quite true.

The Brian Clough Trophy will be up for grabs for starters and Forest will look to hold it aloft for the first time in four years.

Bragging rights will also be at stake, although there are no points handed out for claiming those.

Goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon is looking forward to the game.

The stopper has been in good form since boss Martin O’Neill arrived.

His comments will have Forest fans excited at the mentality within the Forest camp ahead of derby-day.

He told the Nottingham Post: “Every player enjoys this kind of game. All the fans and supporters wait all season for this game and it is something special. It is a special feeling to play in these games.


“Everyone knows that this is a special game. It is a derby for the players and for the fans – there is something special there. The feeling and the atmosphere is very different from any other game.

“Putting everything else to one side, it is still an opportunity for us to get three points.”

The Forest custodian is right.

Fans will be delighted that he and the players see the game as something ‘very different’, but it would appear that they are still focused on the match.

It is just three points.

Well, three points and a silver trophy to symbolise the legend that is Brian Clough.

But nonetheless, let’s call it three more points.

The big Romanian appears very level-headed about facing the Rams and excitement will build as Monday approaches.

(Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

If results go their way between now and the game, three points might be massive for the Reds, in the context of their season.

Time will tell, however.

Let’s hope it can be Forest who finally claim the derby-day three points – and bragging rights!