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Page last updated at 12:12 GMT, Thursday, 22 January 2009

Clough to put Forest memory aside

FA Cup fourth round
Venue: Pride Park Date: Friday, 23 January Kick-off: 1945 GMT
Coverage: Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Radio Nottingham and BBC Radio Derby, score updates and text commentary on BBC Sport website

No split loyalties for Clough in derby game

Derby manager Nigel Clough has said he will cast fond memories of Nottingham Forest aside as the rivals clash in the FA Cup fourth round.

Clough told BBC Radio Derby: "They'll be confined to the memory bank as it'll be all about trying to get a result for Derby on Friday."

In a twist of fate the tie sees Forest boss Billy Davies' first return to Pride Park since leaving the club.

He told BBC Radio Nottingham: "I'll go there with my head held high."

Davies said: "I'm very proud of what I achieved at that football club in a remarkably short period of time.

Joe's Garner get ya
"But my loyalty is now to Forest and as a good professional I will do all I can to bring success to Forest and try to do exactly what I've done at Preston and Derby."

Davies said he would not get carried away with the emotions of the tie.

"It's no bigger than any other match... it's a great game of football between two rivals and it's a game for Forest to go and continue the great form they've shown," he said.

Nigel Clough, a firm favourite Forest forward from 1984 to 1993, said he was 100% focussed on bringing success for the Rams.

Davies excited by Derby return

"I'm completely Derby now - I've got very fond memories and they'll never go away supporting [Forest] for nine or ten years and then playing for the same period of time - but that all goes out the window."

Speaking to European Cup-winning Forest captain John McGovern for BBC Radio Nottingham, Clough said he had never dreamt of following in his father's path as he sat in the dugout at the City Ground.

"I don't think when you're younger you do - you think you're going to play forever and all of a sudden you creep towards 30 and you think maybe it's something you wouldn't mind having a go at.

"It will be a sell-out so that certainly helps , some teams don't take the FA Cup seriously enough and to get a local derby in the fourth round is brilliant."

Both sides go into Friday's match as strugglers in the Championship after a disappointing first half of the season.

Clough said: "If we could get a result it may just lead to some confidence and better league form."

And his men have only had three days to prepare for the grudge match after a gruelling Carling Cup semi-final at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

"I wish we had another couple of days because it takes it out of you physically and emotionally playing at Old Trafford.

"But they're quite buoyant and hopefully come Friday we'll be flying at Forest."

Forest striker Robert Earnshaw, another man who has played both sides of the A52, said he could turn fans jeers to his advantage as he makes his second return of the season to his former club.

"It's something you just have to take on your shoulders.

"It's not a big problem for me and it may be a good thing because I like the challenge and being bigger than that and still doing well," he said.

Forest go into the match on a good run of form, winning their last four matches but Derby maybe spurred on by their taste of success in the Carling Cup.

Whatever happens, the teams will do it all over again as they face each other in the league at the City Ground on 21 February.

You can hear John McGovern's interview with Nigel Clough and pre-match build up on BBC Radio Nottingham and Derby from 1800 GMT on Friday.

You can also watch more previews on BBC East Midlands Today on BBC One at 1830 GMT on Thursday and Friday.

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