Nottingham Forest derby is just another league game for Derby County boss Steve McClaren

Nottingham Forest's Matt Derbyshire and Derby County's Jason Shackell in action during the npower Football League Championship match at the City Ground.

Nottingham Forest's Matt Derbyshire and Derby County's Jason Shackell in action during the npower Football League Championship match at the City Ground.

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Derby County will treat the Nottingham Forest derby like any other league match, says boss Steve McClaren.

Title-chasing Derby can go top of the Championship with a draw, while defeat for Forest could signal the end of the road for Stuart Pearce.

But the former Forest boss says his side should focus solely on the three points on offer and not get caught up in the occasion.

“It is a derby game and form will go out of the window,” he said. “All derbies are feisty and it is important that we play the game and not the occassion.

“It is important that we handle the atmosphere and do not get carried away with our emotions. It is important that we perform to our normal standard.

“For the fans the bragging rights for months are at stake and it is massively important to the fans. It is more important to them than us.

“For us it is just another league game with three points up for grabs.

“Obviously we are aware of what this game means to the fans and we want to get the three points and give our fans the bragging rights.”

Derby, who beat Ipswich last time out, go in to the game unbeaten in five and with four clean sheets in a row.

It is a return to form which has delighted McClaren after Derby had picked up just four points from four games.

“The Ipswich win was very pleasing because it showed we could win in a different way,” said McLaren.

“We want to demonstrate that no matter who the opponents are or what their style of play is, we can adapt and win. The Ipswich game shows that we can do that.

“It reminds me a bit of the league game against QPR last season when we battled to a 1-0 win.

“That game gave us confidence and a lift for the rest of our season and we hope the Ipswich win will have the same affect.

“We have gone through a bit of a blip, but that is behind us now and we are in good form. We have got to take advantage and keep our momentum going on Saturday.”

Left-back Stephen Warnock, who joined Derby from Leeds United on Thursday, will not be available as he continues his fightback from an ankle injury.

Derby crushed Forest 5-0 at the I-Pro last season, while Forest were unlucky to be held to a 1-1 draw at the City Ground earlier this season.

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