The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By John Hunter

JACK Hobbs says Not­ting­ham For­est hero Stu­art Pearce will not stand for another de­mo­li­tion at the hands of ri­vals Derby – de­spite land­ing the man­ager’s job as a con­se­quence of last sea­son’s maul­ing.

For­est were hu­mil­i­ated 5-0 by the Rams in March and that put paid to Billy Davies’ sec­ond reign at the club.

Pearce, who played more than 400 times for For­est in a dis­tin­guished ca­reer at the City Ground, sub­se­quently took over in the sum­mer.

And 26-year-old Hobbs fears get­ting on the wrong side of ‘Psy­cho’ if they put in a sim­i­lar dis­play to­day.

“He, more than any­one, will make sure that we don’t take our foot off the gas at all,” said Hobbs.

“You only have to look at the ta­ble to see how well he has done since he has come in. It is good, we are full of con­fi­dence.

“I guess it was a turn­ing point, in that there was a change of man­ager and quite a lot has changed since.The new gaffer has brought in a lot of new faces and the re­sults are prov­ing the im­pact that he has had al­ready.”

For­mer Hull and Le­ices­ter de­fender Hobbs sat out the Pride Park hor­ror show five months ago, which saw Craig Bryson net a hat-trick.

But the size of the oc­ca­sion hasn’t been lost on the Portsmouth-born stop­per. “I don’t know if ‘have a point to prove’ is quite the right phrase, but the re­sult did hurt ev­ery­one at the club,” he added.

“It hurt the play­ers, it hurt the fans and it was dev­as­tat­ing to lose in that fix­ture.We do want to put it right, it is fair to say.

“It is one of those games you look for­ward to, it will be a great at­mos­phere, a great oc­ca­sion and a great contest. It is just another chance to take three points and to stay at the top.

“But you can’t ig­nore the fact that there is so much more on it, with them be­ing our lo­cal neigh­bours, the ri­valry, the brag­ging rights for the fans – we know it’s a huge oc­ca­sion.”

For­est are likely to be un­changed from their 1-0 win against Sh­effield Wed­nes­day be­fore the in­ter­na­tional break, a re­sult which left them top of the league be­fore the week­end, and Hobbs can’t wait to get go­ing.

“Any game against Derby is huge, re­gard­less of what has hap­pened in the past,” he con­tin­ued. “We just want to win and keep our po­si­tion at the top of the league.

“We want to make sure that the fans have the brag­ging rights as well.”

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