Rival Billy no mate of young Clough
HIS FATHER was known for rubbing fellow managers up the wrong way and Sheffield United boss Nigel Clough appears to be a chip off the old block – especially when it comes to old foe Billy Davies.
The two lock horns again today as Clough, not so much welcomes, as puts up with, his Forest counterpart in their FA Cup fifth round clash at Bramall Lane.
Their relationship has always been rocky. Clough’s four-and-a-halfyear spell in charge of Derby made sure of that.
But the son of Brian, a legend at the City Ground who turned them from no-hopers into two-time European Cup winners, isn’t particularly bothered.
Things between the pair came to a head during a 1-0 win for Derby at Pride Park in January 2010.
A mass confrontation ensued with Davies and Clough involved in the scrum. It is alleged by Davies that the former Rams manager stuck in a sly knee – an accusation Clough has always denied.
So it’s not just a quarter-final place up for grabs as the Blades sharpen their claws for the visit of the Championship highflyers.
“I don’t especially get on with him, no,” said Clough, Forest’s record post-war scorer with 131. “We will shake hands and that will be it.We have had a few run-ins down the years, which is probably inevitable because of the teams we were managing at the time.
“Derby versus Forest clashes are always going to be interesting. When I was at Derby, they included days when we had melees and we all got fined by the FA. There was a lot of passion on show. This match captures the imagination because of the connections.”
This is more than Clough v Davies though. The Blades have already knocked Premier League Fulham and Aston Villa out but Forest haven’t lost an away game since October and remain 13 league games unbeaten.
Clough has no fresh injury concerns with skipper Michael Doyle back from suspension, although striker Billy Paynter is cup-tied and Elliott Whitehouse and Callum McFadzean both ineligible.
For Forest, midfield duo Guy Moussi and Djamal Abdoun are both expected to miss the trip with Henri Lansbury, David Vaughan, Chris Cohen, Kelvin Wilson and Dexter Blackstock all longterm absentees.
CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK: Nigel Clough locks horns with old foe Billy Davies