Derby County boss Steve McClaren urges Nottingham Forest to stick with Stuart Pearce

Derby County manager Steve McLaren.

Derby County manager Steve McLaren.

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Derby County boss Steve McClaren says Nottingham Forest should stick with under-fire manager Stuart Pearce.

Pearce’s position has come under major threat following Forest’s slump down the Championship table, which has seen them win just two of their last 20 games.

Forest were beaten 5-0 at Derby last season which saw Billy Davies given the boot,

But McClaren believes that Pearce should not suffer the same fate if they are beaten at the I-Pro Stadium:

“Forest have got an experienced and good manager in Stuart Pearce as well as good staff and great fans,” said McClaren.

“They will be working very hard to turn things around and Stuart Pearce will believe that Saturday can be the game that turns it around and gets them going again.

“Forest are very capable of doing that and we have to make sure that they do not. The game at the City Ground was the hardest one we have had all season.

“They should stick with Stuart Pearce. Forest have got too many good players and too much quality for their bad run to keep going.

“Bad runs is part of football and it is a matter time before things start to click for Forest again. Stuart Pearce is the right man for Forest.”

And, despite Forest’s woeful form, McLaren knows promotion-chasing County face a massive test ahead.

“We expect a very tough and emotional game,” said McClaren.

“It is a derby game and form will go out of the window. 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.

“We need to concentrate on what we do and not what our opponents do.

“Forest are not in good form, but that will not matter on Saturday. They will be dangerous opponents.

“This is a competitive league and anyone can beat anyone on their day, that is Championship football for you.

“We are playing for three points, for the fans the bragging rights for months are at stake and it is massively important to the fans.

“We want to get the three points and give our fans the bragging rights.”

Derby County, who signed Stephen Warnock from Leeds United on Thursday, go into the game on the back of a four game unbeaten run.

They will go top of the table if they avoid defeat ahead of Bournemouth’s 3pm kick-off at Rotherham.