The Rams are winless in five matches and have collected just 13 points from their first 10 Championship games, while Forest are two places and two points ahead, having played a game more.
The opportunity Saturday’s match provides to leapfrog a rival and kickstart a season that is beginning to stagnate is not lost on the ex-Birmingham City boss.
“When you are in the situation both teams are in, I think every result is a springboard to kick on,” Rowett said on a Facebook Live interview with Sky Bet.
“Every time we have had a good result we have felt mentally that it was our chance to kick on, but then we have had a poor result.
“It’s a local derby. We know how important it is and if we can win this game it will give us more confidence and kudos with everyone and give us a platform.
“It’s only a platform, though. It’s one game, it’s our next game and we need wins to back up some of the other good work we are doing.”
Sevilla have been linked with Newcastle's Florian Lejeune as they line up possible replacements for Clement Lenglet.