I’ll admit scoffing loudly when Adam Pearson described picking Nigel Clough as Derby manager as ‘definitely not a sentimental appointment.’ After all, Nigel’s father Brian was unambiguously Derby County’s greatest ever manager – winning their two top flight titles in 1971/72 and 1974/75.
So when Nigel Clough replaced Paul Jewell I presumed it was a weak sop to Derby fans, done for all the wrong reasons. But in the first game since the appointment – albeit with David Lowe managing from the dug out – they were fantastic.
They outran and outpassed a very strong Manchester United side – Vidić, Scholes, Anderson, Tévez and Nani all started, Ronaldo, Rooney and Carrick came on – and deserved at least their 1-0 win.
Derby are still back in eighteenth place, with just 29 points from 26 games. But if they keep on playing like this, and keep hold of Kris Commons and Giles Barnes, we could well see them back in the top flight before too long.