Experience will be the key to Monday’s big East Midlands derby, according to Derby County boss Frank Lampard.
While the Rams have a relatively young squad, four players are veterans of the highly-charged fixture against Nottingham Forest.
Craig Bryson has played the most since his arrival in 2011, whilst Richard Keogh, Scott Carson and Tom Huddlestone have also featured many times in meetings between the two Championship sides.
Ahead of the match at Pride Park, Lampard told Rams TV: “Experience will be key. As a manager, and staff, we can only do so much and when the players step over the line they have to perform, get their heads right. The player that has been there and done it has a responsibility to speak to some players that haven’t done it before.
“We have got a lot of young players, we know this season is a young squad, they will be excited by the prospect of the game but they also need to deliver.
“If the lads who have been there before can have a few words pre-game then they should to get us fully prepared.”
Lampard has played in many derbies in his career, but this will be his first taste of an East Midlands Derby — as well as his first as a manager.
He said he hoped his players would not be overawed by the atmosphere and occasion.
“It’s natural to have your heart in it,” said Lampard. “It’s what you should have if you play for Derby County.
“You should feel what the fans feel, understand how they feel, realise what it means to them when you walk down the street in the week, or by what some Derby fans were telling me about it the minute I got here.
“As a player, you must have your head because there is a discipline factor because the emotions will be high and also a tactical factor because you have a job to do so the balance has to be right.”