Nottingham Forest played out a goalless draw with fierce rivals Derby County at Pride Park last night in the first East Midlands derby of the season.

The Reds bounced back from defeat against Preston North End to earn a share of the spoils from a feisty East Midlands derby.

In truth, Forest could have won the game when Joe Lolley struck the bar late on, although a draw was probably a fair result.

The midfield battle was an intriguing one and Jack Colback once again rose to the occasion.

The man once dubbed the ‘Ginger Pirlo’ by ex-England boss Roy Hodgson was at his combative best against the Rams, leading by example from the Forest engine room.

(Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images)

The 28-year-old is fast becoming one of the Reds’ most important players and the Newcastle owned midfielder showed all of his experience last night.

Keeping things simple

Colback’s game is all about simplicity; breaking play up and releasing the ball on to players who can cause the opposition serious damage.

Some fans have criticised the defensive midfielder previously, with some of the more cynical supporters asking the question of what he really offers to the team.

In a 4-2-3-1 system, every team needs a Colback-type performer and the club must do all they can to secure the player permanently during the summer.

The ex-Sunderland man is forming a formidable partnership with Claudio Yacob, with the pair protecting a makeshift back four with absolute aplomb against Derby.

Colback’s presence in the Forest team is now an instrumental part of how Aitor Karanka’s men line up, in particular away from home.

With tough fixtures against QPR, Norwich, Millwall, and Leeds on the horizon, they have a player who looks to be hitting peak form at just the right time.

The more attacking players have drawn vast praise so far this season, but Colback is quickly becoming equally important.

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