Manager pleased with way players got back on terms to extend run
NIGEL Clough was pleased to see his Derby County side recover from a goal down to extend the unbeaten run against Nottingham Forest to four matches.
The Rams have not lost to their rivals in two years but they fell behind to Chris Cohen's first-half strike in Saturday's 1-1 draw at Pride Park Stadium.
Jamie Ward equalised seven minutes into the second half and Clough praised the character of his players.
"Despite going a goal down, the players kept doing the right things and our performance overall was pretty good," said the manager.
"We've got a good record against Forest and we're pleased to be able to extend that.
"We'd have loved nothing more than to win the game but the point is a good one because to come back from one down at half time in a local derby is hard to do.
"It means we've only lost twice at home this season going into the end of January, which is something we're very proud of."
Clough felt a draw was the right result.
"I thought we edged it territorially but there was not many clear-cut chances created, so it was about even," he said.
"I thought it was a good game for a local derby.
"Last season's game here seemed to have a stoppage every 30 seconds and yellow cards and red cards.
"I thought this one was much more free-flowing.
"To get through the first four and a half minutes without a foul was a rarity in these games and I think that set the tone.
"I thought the referee (Mark Clattenburg) handled it very well, although there was not anything really to handle in terms of bad tackles.
"We thought he missed a couple of late ones on Will Hughes but, generally speaking, I thought the referee did well."
Clough bemoaned Derby's luck when it came to Forest's goal.
Cohen completely missed his attempt at a volley and the ball bobbled kindly for him to beat Adam Legzdins after 31 minutes.
"We are not getting a break in either penalty area at the moment and they got a big one for their goal," said Clough.
"It was the sort of lucky break we've been crying out for in recent weeks.
"Just before the goal, Jamie Ward hit a free kick and it was deflected an inch or two wide.
"The way we started the game, we were just a bit disappointed to go in at half-time one down.
"In the first 20 minutes, we were good and then we got a bit static.
"We just wanted the players to get more on the front foot and move the ball a bit quicker.
"When we got moving again for 20 minutes or half an hour in the second half, I thought it was one-way traffic.
"That is how we have to play, on the front foot.
"When we do, we look good but it is very difficult to maintain that for the full game.
"We were also aware of the quality of Forest's strikers, Simon Cox, Billy Sharp and Dexter Blackstock, on the break but we dealt with it pretty well."
The game went ahead despite the recent snow and was watched by a sell-out crowd of 33,010, the biggest at Pride Park this season.
"A lot of effort went in to get it on and for 33,000 to get here in these conditions. I thought we rewarded them with a very good game," said Clough.