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Nottingham Forest’s Stuart Pearce exults as Ben Osborn sinks Derby

Stuart Pearce celebrated like it was Euro 96 all over again after Ben Osborn scored the stoppage-time winner that enshrined the former captain’s status as a Nottingham Forest legend. Victory in the east Midlands derby, denying Derby County the opportunity to claim top spot in the Championship, offered Pearce the kind of result to shove Danny Mills’s criticism down the pundit’s throat and, more important, to provide Forest with the emotional fillip to reboot their season.

Mills had said his former Manchester City manager is “not a great coach, not a great tactician and not a great motivator” and that “after 10 games people work him out”. But Pearce, despite coming on to the pitch to celebrate manically after Osborn’s dramatic intervention, had retained his cool by the time he came to speak publicly about a game that could prove a key moment in his coaching career. “I’m entrenched in Nottingham and this is slightly more than a job for me,” he said. “I enjoy football at the all-or-nothing end. Yes, I enjoyed today but I probably enjoyed it more for the fans who have been so loyal to me. I respect loyalty.

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