NIGEL Clough believes that Gary Rowett deserves his opportunity to manage Derby County, but says the fact the both men will be facing their former clubs will mean nothing come kick-off tomorrow.
Rowett masterminded Burton Albion’s promotion from League Two while Clough managed the Rams between 2009 and 2013. The Brewers boss says that Rowett is doing a great job at Derby, but there will be no time for sentiment on Saturday.
“It is quite unusual, with the high turnover of managers, for us to both be coming up against our former clubs, but that won’t mean anything once the game starts on Saturday, they will be trying to get back on track.
“Since Gary has been there, I think that they are better organised. I think they have a genuine chance of the top six, but I think they are probably a season ahead of where they would expect to be.
“I hope that the expectation doesn’t get out of hand and people will understand that they are only just starting to rebuild things at Derby, but are doing brilliantly.
“Gary played a crucial role in getting Burton Albion out of League Two, it is a great opportunity for him at Derby and he deserves it.”
With 11 goals in 15 Championship appearances this season, Matej Vydra appears to be Derby County’s main threat going forward, but Clough says that the Brewers would be naïve to solely focus on stopping the Czech Republic international.
He said: “You have got to deny Vydra space, he is the kind of player who can create a goal from abslolutely anything.
“When you have got £20-odd million in the final third, even if you are not playing well, you are capable of getting a result in the Championship. I think that a few weeks ago, Tom Lawrence was having a good spell, now maybe he has gone quiet and Vydra steps up and if he goes quite then you have David Nugent to deal with and Weimann can get a goal too, so they are not reliant on one person.”