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Relentless character

25 February 2019

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Nottingham Forest manager Martin O'Neill was delighted with his side's display as they came out on top in the East Midlands derby this evening.

Yohan Benalouane 's early goal proved decisive at The City Ground and O'Neill was full of praise for his side's determination and character to get the important victory.

Speaking after the game, he said: "It was quite a win. We had a fantastic start, then Derby could have scored and we could have maybe made it two. The only surprise about tonight was that it ended 1-0.

"I am delighted to have won the game, naturally, and it was a strong, strong effort by the team.

"I thought we did terrifically and we deserved to win the game because we were very strong. Defensively we were very good despite that lapse and overall there were some big performances.

"We have got improvement to make. The one thing you can say about the side tonight is that they showed relentless character.

"That will win you some matches and some it won't but we have that improvement to make in the team, to get more possession of the ball and to maneuvre it."

The sold-out crowd generated a fantastic atmosphere at The City Ground and O'Neill felt the players and the fans bounced off each other to get the three points.

"It was a cauldron tonight and the passion is two-fold," he said. "The crowd were fantastic for us, to start off they gave us that impetus and the players wanted to perform tonight which was very important.

"As we tired towards the end and hanging on, trying to make sure that we saw the game through, the crowd again were absolutely terrific. So I think the players and the crowd fed off each other."

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