Mick Newell gave special praise to James Taylor and Samit Patel, as well as to Stuart Pearce, after seeing his side win their Royal London Cup quarter-final against Derbyshire Falcons.
The Notts Outlaws recorded a comfortable 85-run victory at Trent Bridge to book their spot in the semi-finals and one win away from being back at Lord's, where they won the Yorkshire Bank 40 last season.
Skipper Taylor, who made 146 not out, and Patel (55) helped build the foundations of a big total with a 136-run partnership after Notts had lost two early wickets and Derbyshire were never able to compete with 313-5.
The win came a day after Nottingham Forest boss Pearce had given the team a pre-match pep talk.
And director of cricket Newell said: "We won on the back of a really good performance, we didn't scrape through.
"Samit and Taylor batted brilliantly, they weighed up the situation of the match excellently and I almost thought we had too many runs once we got past 300.
"Those two worked out what a good score was and they took us well beyond that in the end and I think they deserve an awful lot of credit for the way they set the game up.
"He (Taylor) has been in terrific form and in this competition he is really thriving on it.
"James was very keen to stress at the tea break as to how we should go about our bowling and we did that pretty much to the letter so I was very pleased with them and we didn't really give them a chance.
"(The final) is very much there, it's a long wait through the week now to see who we are playing and when we're playing, but we will look forward to it enormously because we enjoyed the experience last year and would really love to get back."
Newell had organised for Pearce to surprise the players on Monday afternoon and the Reds manager gave a 15-minute motivational talk about mental strength.
"It was just something different, I was watching Derbyshire play last week and I was trying to think of a new way of motivating them if you like, to play a team we've played an awful lot against in the past," Newell explained.
"The players have to listen to me a hell of a lot so I just thought a different voice would be good and Stuart was good enough to give up his time and the boys were hanging on his every word.
"He said to me 'look, team sport is team sport, football, cricket, rugby, ice hockey whatever it might be in this city' and he has a pride in the city and the county and he wants the teams to do well and that was a great benefit to us that he was prepared to come down."