Keane's regard for Clough

NIGEL Clough used to set up several goals for Roy Keane, while the duo were playing together for Nottingham Forest, but the Derby manager cannot expect any return favours from the Town boss this afternoon.

Carl Marston

NIGEL Clough used to set up several goals for Roy Keane, while the duo were playing together for Nottingham Forest, but the Derby manager cannot expect any return favours from the Town boss this afternoon.

Keane is desperate to mastermind Town's elusive first league victory of the season, after 14 failed attempts, so there will be no love lost this afternoon.

The Irishman is a fan of Clough, both as a player and a manager, but that will be pushed to one side at Portman Road this afternoon.


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“He (Clough) set me up a lot of goals, but then I did a lot of the running for him!” recalled Keane wryly.

“I liked to run forward, and Nigel would pick me out. That was his strength, to get the ball down and turn. He was a good link-up striker.

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“He was a thinking footballer, though I didn't really think about him becoming a manager at the time. I suppose Pearcey (Stuart Pearce) was the obvious candidate to become a manager from all my ex-team-mates at Forest.

“People used to criticise managers like me, when I was at Sunderland, and Gareth Southgate at Middlesbrough. They said that we were young managers who were lucky to get decent jobs straight away.

“Some say that we should have served our time somewhere else first. Well, Nigel Clough certainly did that (long-term manager at Burton Albion).

“He served a long apprenticeship (10 years), and when he came to Derby it was fairly well documented that the wages were very high at the club. He's cut that down, and made a lot of changes. And they've still got better results than us!

“We're not close friends, but Nigel is a good lad and I look forward to seeing him after the game,” added Keane.

Town remain rock bottom of the Championship table, with eight draws and six defeats from their first 14 games. However, looking on the brighter side, they have at least drawn seven of their last 10 fixtures.

There will at least be one change from last weekend's 1-1 draw at Plymouth Argyle. Centre-half Gareth McAuley is out for a fortnight, after sustaining a thigh injury during the first half at Home Park. Alex Bruce is expected to deputise, alongside Tommy Smith.

Derby have a number of injuries, and have recently lost back-to-back games at Middlesbrough and at home to QPR.

In fact, Clough has been unable to name an unchanged side this season, due to injuries, with no fewer than six defensive pairings employed in the 14 games. Centre-halves Shaun Barker, Dean Leacock, Miles Addison and Jake Buxton have all been injured at one time or another.

But Keane remains cautious: “Derby might be wobbling, but they haven't had as much of a wobble as us!

“They are six points ahead of us, so I'd rather be in Nigel Clough's position.

“Robbie Savage and Paul Dickov are the kind of experienced players that you need during the season. They will be very valuable to Nigel.

“You need these leaders and you need characters,” added Keane.

Follow Carl on Twitter at Carl_Marston

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