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Last Updated: Friday, 24 December, 2004, 13:43 GMT
Clough's tribute to late father
Nigel Clough (right) with his late father Brian
Nigel Clough believes that his late father Brian would have made a great England boss.

He was speaking publicly for the first time since the legendary manager's death from stomach cancer in September.

"He was a good manager and he knew football," he told Radio Five Live. "He would have handled everything that came with it.

"The idea that you only see the players a few times a year - the players would have looked forward to meeting up."

Clough was widely considered to be the greatest manager of his generation, leading both Derby and Nottingham Forest to the league title and then winning back-to-back European Cups with Forest.

But his controversial management style and his outspoken comments are thought to have stood in the way of his dream of managing his country.

Nigel Clough, who is now boss of non-League Burton Albion, said his father saw the irony of the present England manager Sven-Goran Eriksson often finding himself in the papers for the wrong reasons.

He added: "In the last couple of years, or whatever, he used to have a chuckle because they used to talk about him and why he didn't get the England job and that it would have been a PR nightmare and all that.

He did an awful lot of things that people would have liked to have done but maybe weren't brave enough or weren't in a position to do
"He'd pick up the paper and Mr Eriksson was more on the front pages than on the back - that was one thing that did give him a laugh.

"He had quite strong views on that sort of thing - about how you live your life.

"Ultimately, discipline was one of his strongest points and referees never had any problem with him. That's why I'm not sure why the authorities didn't take to him a bit more.

"His teams played in the right way and when you see these 18 or 20-man brawls now - there was never any of that, so you would have thought the authorities would have been a little bit more on his side."

The Christmas period was always an important one for family man Brian Clough.

Brian sustained the knee injury that would eventually end his playing career on Boxing Day in 1962 - and he handed Nigel his Forest debut on the same day 22 years later.

And Nigel admitted the family was still coming to terms with his death.

Nigel added: "It will be a bit harder this year, especially for the grandchildren.

"Most people think their dad is special but it is other people's viewpoints as well. People come up in the streets and say nice things now and they have done so for the last 20 or 30 years

He would have been proud that he was good at his job and produced teams that people wanted to come and watch
"I think when someone makes an impression on their lives - going back to Derby in the late 1960s you're talking 35 years ago - and people are telling you stories as if they were yesterday, I think those sort of memories will live with people forever and are very, very special memories for them.

"You find it very difficult reading all the tributes even now. I don't think there's a time limit on when those sort of feelings will end.

"I think in time you look back with increasingly fond memories but at the moment they are more sad than anything else.

"It's lovely when people listen to the sort of things he said over the years and have a smile on their face and I think he would appreciate that.

"A lovely thing that Jasper Carrott said was he didn't care about the people above him but he cared more about the so-called people below him - and I think he did, which was another great strength.

"If somebody was walking into town he would stop and ask if they wanted a lift so we would have complete strangers in the car.

"If we had elderly neighbours he would always be checking they were okay and he did care about people."

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