Nottingham Forest manager Stuart Pearce says he asked his players to ‘put a marker down’ for the fans ahead of this afternoon’s derby victory.The Reds came from a goal behind to beat arch-rivals Derby County 2-1 in injury time on a chilly January afternoon at the iPro Stadium.
And Pearce was thrilled with what he saw from his men.
Speaking after the match, he said: “I’ve got to give credit to the players. To a man they were outstanding and worked tirelessly. I think that’s been coming. Hopefully it’s a catalyst to push us on for the rest of the season.
“I asked the players at the hotel to put a marker down that our supporters will be proud of, and I think they did that.
“It’s a great result for us in this part of the world against a very good Derby side who are going to be very close to promotion this year.
“We’ve set the bar for ourselves and it’s important we use this as a building block. We have to make sure we’re ready for Wednesday night and back this result up.”
Ben Osborn was the match-winner, picking the second minute of stoppage time as the ideal moment to score his very first senior goal.
And Pearce, who has been effusive in his praise for the young midfielder recently, believes it was the least Osborn deserved for his efforts.
The manager said: “He’s played central midfield for the most part of this season but we just felt he could operate well for us on the left.
“I thought he did that well last week and that he delivered a grade-ten performance working up and down the left-hand side.
“Credit to him, to unload a finish like that at the end...we’re delighted for him.”