David Nugent says today’s East Midlands derby victory over Nottingham Forest was everything that Derby County could have possibly asked for at the start of the day.
The Rams ran out 2-0 winners over the local rivals with a goal in each half from Matej Vydra and then Nugent himself shortly after the half time interval.
Naturally, the 32-year-old felt Gary Rowett’s side could not have made a better start to the contest.
With Pride Park Stadium engulfed in black and white flags and a red-hot atmosphere, Vydra’s opener came after just 24 seconds to ease any early tension.
“That’s what we wanted at the start of the day,” Nugent told RamsTV when asked about the game.
“It’s always a special occasion for the supporters when you play your rivals, so to score after 24 seconds, I’m sure there were some of the fans didn’t even see the goal!
“It was a fantastic start, a great finish from Vyds (Matej Vydra) and that’s what derbies are made of really. We have to make sure that the atmosphere is like that for every game – not just this one.”
Forest enjoyed the better of the contest after going behind, but apart from one moment, when Scott Carson was called upon to deny Barrie McKay in a one-on-one face-off, the Rams’ ‘keeper was very rarely called into action.
Nugent felt his goal, five minutes after the break, ultimately ‘killed the game off’ and revealed to us too that it came with an extra bit of satisfaction.
He told: “When the second goal goes in, you know you have all but killed the game off, but you have still got to keep your concentration and see the match out.
“I got a bit of stick from their fans during the game – being a Leicester reject – but it’s nice to score a goal and get the bragging rights at the end.”
More than anything, Nugent also highlighted the importance of returning to winning ways, describing it as ‘vital’.
Derby entered the derby meeting off the back of three successive Sky Bet Championship draws and were also five matches in all competitions without a win.
With a big month ahead of them, Nugent says the Rams, like they did against Hull City last month, have set themselves a standard to hit on a far more regular basis.
“It’s vital to keep winning at home because the draws away from home were tough, Brentford are no mugs; they pass the ball really well, whilst Cardiff were really physical,” he said.
“We said after the game that we should have won that game at Cardiff so after that it was vital that we got back to winning ways and move above Forest.
“We’re looking forward to these games that we have got coming up. And we know that if we keep playing like that, starting like that, and playing with the momentum and aggression that we did today then we will go far in this division.”