Nottingham Forest owe a big debt to Steve Cotterill, says Nigel Clough
DERBY County might not be facing their fierce rivals Nottingham Forest this weekend but for Steve Cotterill, says Rams manager Nigel Clough.
The first of this season's A52 showdowns takes place at the City Ground on Sunday (1.15pm).
Sean O'Driscoll will be in charge of Forest in the fixture for the first time – and Clough believes O'Driscoll is the right man for the job.
But Clough also remembers the role Cotterill played in keeping the Reds in the Championship last season before he was sacked in the summer.
Cotterill brought some stability back to Forest after he replaced Steve McClaren in October 2011.
A run of five defeats in six league games had left Forest fourth bottom with only eight points from 10 matches when Cotterill arrived.
They finished the season 10 points above the drop zone, only for Cotterill to lose his job after the Al-Hasawi family took ownership of the club.
"Sean was a good choice as manager," said Clough.
"But I felt very sorry for Steve Cotterill and the way it went for him, because he did keep Forest up last season.
"When he took over, Forest were sinking.
"If he had not gone in at that time, I don't think we would have been playing them this season.
"So a lot of credit has to go to him and he did bring Sean (O'Driscoll) in as a coach."
Forest, under O'Driscoll, have collected 10 points from seven games this season and sit 11th in the table.
Defeat at Leeds last Saturday was their first in the League.
"I don't think you could pick a better person for Forest in this situation than Sean," said Clough.
"He has come in, been very calm and is putting his stamp on the team."
Derby defender Stefan Galinski has had his loan with Blue Square Bet North side Corby Town extended until December 9.
Rams forward Kane Richards, meanwhile, will remain with Matlock Town until November 3.