FORMER Derby County star Horacio Carbonari is hoping the Rams can get one over their old rivals Nottingham Forest this weekend.
Carbonari memorably scored twice against Forest during his time at Derby, cementing his status as a firm favourites with the fans.
The defender joined the Rams from Rosario Central in his native Argentina for £2.7m in May 1998.
He went on to make 102 appearances for Derby, before leaving the club in January 2003.
Carbonari scored nine goals during that time – the first of which earned Jim Smith’s men a 2-2 draw with Forest at the City Ground in November 1998.
He repeated the feat against the same opposition later that season, scoring an 85th-minute winner at Pride Park in April 1999.
“My goal away at Forest was my first in England, which was very special for me,” said Carbonari.
“And to score against them again, in front of the home fans, was great.”
Derby take on Forest at the iPro Stadium on Saturday, 12.15pm kick-off, with both sides currently in the Championship play-off places.
The Rams are six points better off than their neighbours, but were beaten 1-0 in the reverse fixture earlier this season, after which Nigel Clough was sacked as Derby boss.
Carbonari made his first return to Derby since leaving the club earlier this month and was a special guest at the recent goalless draw against Bolton Wanderers before heading back to South America.
“It’s a big local derby and a very important match against Forest,” he said.
“I wish I could stay to watch it.
“They were great matches to play in. The atmosphere is always fantastic and the crowd never stop singing.
“These kind of games aren’t always nice to watch but, hopefully, Derby can get the win.”
Carbonari is hoping the Rams can achieve promotion back to the top flight sooner rather than later.
“I hope they can get back in the Premier League,” he said.
“Derby is a very nice club with very nice people.
“It’s a nice city and they deserve to be in the Premier League.
“I sometimes watch the matches back in Argentina, when they’re on television or on the internet.
“I think they’ve got a chance of going up, either straight away or through the play-offs.
“Fingers crossed, they can do it.”