PREVIEW: Two new managers start with battle of East Midlands as Forest play Derby for 100th time

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Gary Rowett, left, the new manager of Derby County and Mark Warburton, the new manager of Nottingham Forest (Picture of Gary Rowett from YouTube channel RAMSTV, picture of Mark Warburton is Notts TV’s own)

Two new bosses start the next chapter of their managerial careers with the 100th competitive East Midlands derby at the City Ground.

Nottingham Forest host Derby County on Saturday (March 18) with both announcing new managers on Tuesday (March 14) earlier this week.

The Reds appointed former Rangers and Brentford manager Mark Warburton and the Rams appointed Gary Rowett, who had been linked with the Forest vacancy earlier in the season.

Nottingham Forest currently sit 20th in the Sky Bet Championship, just two places and two points above the relegation zone; Derby are 10th and 10 points off the play-off places.

Despite Forest’s recent woes, Warburton says Forest is a ‘great place to be right now’.

Video: Mark Warburton on Derby County

Speaking in his first press conference as Forest’s manager, Warburton said: “It’s the same sort of thing going of for Gary as what I’m experiencing.

“Situations that I’m encountering at Forest I’m sure he will be encountering the same.

“I’ve great respect for Derby and great respect for Gary but I don’t care above that – it’s about Forest for me.

“It’s about getting to know our squad, making the environment better for them, and if we can perform as professional athletes sooner rather than later, we’ll be in a good place.”

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Mark Warburton being unveiled at the City Ground

Warburton says he is only looking at one game at a time.

He said: “The squad have got to understand what we want from them, and from then what we will demand as coaches and managers is clarity – we don’t want grey areas.

“This division is relentless from start to finish and you live and die by the quality of your decisions but the history and reputation of this club only excites you.

“We’re looking forward to the first game massively but then there’s the international break which will give us time to work on the training park which is so important.”

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Gary Rowett (Picture from YouTube channel RAMSTV)

New Derby manager Rowett said that although there is the sense of a ‘bigger game with a bigger atmosphere’ against Forest, every game needs to be competitive.

Speaking at a press conference at Pride Park, he said: “We will pick a team for the match away at Forest that we think will go there and get a result.

“That might be a different team to the one we pick in the first home game after the international break against QPR.

“I’m looking forward to the game but we will build things slowly and will not react too much to particular games.

Nottingham Forest’s record v Derby County

Played: 99
Won: 39
Drawn: 23
Lost: 37

When the two teams meet earlier in the season on December 11 2016, Derby County emerged as 3-0 winners at Pride Park.

Nicklas Bendtner opened the scoring with an own goal in the 33rd minute to gift the Rams a first half lead.

Tom Ince scored the second in the 55th minute before Will Hughes scored in the 64th minute to give Derby all three points which, at the time, moved them up to fifth in the table after 20 games.

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