The Northern Ireland international has been out of action since the end of September because of a hamstring injury and the showdown with Derby's bitter local rivals was his first start since.
Clough says Ward added some much-needed devil to the Rams and the striker scored the hosts' goal at Pride Park cancelling out Chris Cohen's goal for Forest.
"That's his first start for three months and he's been our major goal threat when he's started this season," Clough said.
"So to not have the partnership we wanted out there for three months has been hard for us.
"He was not as sharp as he normally is but he got a great goal. He's one of those players, he's a little-so and-so at times on the pitch which is what we miss as well because we are nice lads on the pitch, too nice sometimes!
"They are lovely lads, Jeff (Hendrick) and Will (Hughes) but we want to see them having an edge to them as well but that will come."