Gary Rowett felt scoring at crucial times was instrumental in Derby County seeing off East Midlands rivals Nottingham Forest on Sunday afternoon.

Derby ran out 2-0 winners at a packed Pride Park Stadium thanks to goals from frontmen Matej Vydra and David Nugent.

The victory helped Derby extend their unbeaten run against their bitter rivals to four games, of which the last three on home turf have been victories.

Vydra opened the scoring after just 24 seconds with a fine strike from the edge of the box, before Nugent got in on the act with a cool finish just after half-time.

Rowett, overseeing his first home game against Forest as Derby boss, was pleased with his side’s performance.

In addition to scoring at vital times, Rowett was satisfied with the way the Rams steered themselves through some key periods out of possession.

He told RamsTV: “We scored at the right times and at crucial times today.

“We also managed to navigate ourselves through some periods when we knew that we wouldn’t have the ball.

“There were some moments where I felt we could have done better and the save from Scott Carson was a really key moment in the game.

“These matches hinge on moments such as those and he is so experienced and made a fabulous save.

“We kept our shape when we needed to and as the game we went on I felt we got stronger."

Rowett called on the Derby fans to raise the roof at Pride Park and drive the side on – and they responded to his rallying cry.

The club placed flags on all home supporters’ seats and a sea of black and white greeted the players ahead of kick-off.

The Derby boss said: “The atmosphere was fantastic, which we knew it would be, and we made a perfect start which I am sure helped.

“Full credit to the fans putting out all the flags and we had the chance to stoke the atmosphere up quite early.

“I thought the supporters were magnificent once again, as they have been all season, and today we really did need their help.

“They responded really well and I am really pleased we put on a performance to make them feel quite positive.”

Vydra’s strike got the ball rolling with less than 30 seconds played and Rowett admitted it was a dream start for his side.

The Czech Republic international also set up Nugent’s goal just after the break and the Derby boss was pleased with the quality of his side’s goals.

He said: “We wanted to start well and we knew it was an area that we could try and exploit.

“Forest hadn’t started well in some of their games and it was something we spoke about a lot, to put pressure on them early on.

“You don’t expect to score after 20 seconds! It was a wonderful strike from Vyds; I thought the angle might be against him but it was a wonderful finish with power and accuracy.

“Both of our goals were really well worked today. When we release those players in that type of areas they got in to, they can cause serious problems.”