Nigel Clough followed the path taken by his legendary father on Tuesday when he became manager of Derby County.
The 42-year-old Clough ended a 10-year spell with non-league Burton, whom he had guided to the verge of England’s professional leagues, to follow his famous father Brian in leading Derby.
Brian Clough managed Derby from 1967 to 1973 and guided the side to their first ever English championship in 1972. He also won the English title with Nottingham Forest, who he led to two European Cup triumphs.
Just as when Clough Sr. took over, Derby are languishing in the second tier of English soccer. And with Derby 18th in the 24-team League Championship, Nigel Clough too must first stop the club from getting relegated before setting higher targets.
“I know the club inside out,” Clough said on Tuesday. “It has always had a special place in mine and my family’s heart and I know that this is one of the most exciting jobs in football.”
“We have a terrific squad of players already here and I can’t wait to start working with them. This is going to be a tremendous challenge,” he said.
Clough was a striker like his charismatic father but has so far shown a far less eccentric personality than the man who hit his own fans for running onto the field and was widely held to have been passed over for the England manager’s job because of his domineering nature.
Brian Clough, who died in 2004, led the small provincial club to the semi-finals of the 1972-1973 European Cup, losing to Juventus in a match subject to allegations of match fixing.
Although he left amid acrimony in October 1973, Derby won the title again in 1975 with a squad largely assembled by Clough and he was held in such high regard that his memorial service was held at the club’s Pride Park stadium.
Nigel Clough spent most of his playing career under his father at Derby’s fierce rivals Forest. He won the League Cup in 1989 and 1990, and made 14 appearances for England.