JAKE Buxton has paid tribute to departing Brewers manager Nigel Clough and the impact he has had on his career and life.
Buxton has been appointed player/manager at the Pirelli Stadium giving him the chance to follow in the footsteps of not only Clough but also the likes of Neil Warnock and Gary Rowett in getting a chance to launch his managerial career.
Buxton says it’s an honour to succeed Clough as Brewers boss.
“I’ve played for Nigel for the best part of half of my professional career and I have loved every minute of it.
“I wasn’t around in the early days at Eton Park but for Nigel Clough to have that commitment to stay around more than 10 years and the things that were achieved on the pitch and off it really set the foundations for what the football club has become.
“I was a piece of the jigsaw at the end of that first period and the team I joined was better than the one I was playing with in League Two and I dropped down a level as I knew the Gaffer had a team that would be easily competitive in the Football League never mind the Conference and that year we went on to win the league.
“I didn’t get off to the best of starts and received from him the shortest and best rollicking I have ever had at Kettering away in the FA Cup. I can recall the entire episode and often do. It along with lots of others has stood me in good stead.
“After meeting the Gaffer as a young player I knew from day one that he was a manager I wanted to play for as he had an aura about him and the way he carried himself around the club and with the players I knew I had a proper manager.”
Buxton will want to make his own mark in management but knows that he has learnt a lot from Nigel Clough that he can take forward.
“I can see the influence he has around the building on a daily basis not just on the training pitch. How he carries himself has had a massive impact on myself as he has always been respectful of everybody and when I think about it, his influence is with me on a daily basis. Just how you live your life, how you treat people.
“His honesty as well is important - he tells you things straight and that always means he has your respect. That’s something I want to take along with me on this journey.
“One of the reasons he took me to Derby is because he stands by players who give their all for him.
“Once you’ve played for him and tried your best, he’ll back you and that means everything to a player.
“He banged home that mentality about character and passion and that you have to have those things to be successful and that’s something I strongly believe in.
“He’s a top man, and I sincerely hope that he will be on the end of the phone for me forever.”