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Stuart Says: What Will Be Enough For Nigel Clough?
Stuart Says: What Will Be Enough For Nigel Clough?
Friday, 24th Jun 2011 14:25 by Stuart Hughes

With the recent assertions by Tom Glick that Nigel Clough is GSE’s man for DCFC not only at present but into the future – we asked RamZone writer Stuart Hughes his thoughts on what the future may hold for Nigel.

RamZone asked Stuart:

“Now it seems that Nigel Clough is getting the budget and players he wants – with his contract expiring at the end of the coming season – what is the minimum he must achieve in 2011/12 for him to continue as manager of Derby County?”

And Stuart Said:

Without wanting to avoid answering the question, Nigel Clough needs to keep his employers General Sports Entertainment (GSE) happy. Ultimately that means convincing Andy Appleby in the U.S.A., and Tom Glick over here, that he is the right man to lead Derby County beyond this coming season.

Tom Glick has said that Derby County are going to have a real go this season and GSE have backed the manager with money to spend in the transfer market, money that Clough could only have dreamed of previously.

The Rams are leading the way in the Championship this summer with their transfer activity. Already signed are six players – Frank Fielding, Jamie Ward, Theo Robinson, Craig Bryson, Nathan Tyson and Jason Shackell, with a seventh, Chris Maguire, due to be confirmed when his contract with Aberdeen expires at the beginning of July.

And there’s more. Glick is promising a further four additions. Two strikers, Maguire, presumably, being one of them and Martyn Waghorn appears to be the top target for the other; a veteran, defensive midfielder to replace Robbie Savage, with John Eustace looking like the main target; and a left-back to complete the jigsaw – here Glick has hinted at waiting for the Premier League squads to be confirmed and then going after a young left-back who misses the cut.

Even then the transfer activity may not end there. Glick has confirmed that the club are looking at opportunities to add young players with potential to the squad.

Torquay United youngsters Saul Halpin and Lathaniel Rowe-Turner were taken on trial towards the end of last season both played in a reserve game and Halpin impressed by scoring a hat trick. The Rams are also meant to be leading the chase for Burton Albion’s player of the season Adam Legzdins.

Clearly GSE will be looking for a return on this investment but Glick has said that it’s not a case of promotion or bust.

Even so, a significant improvement on last season will be expected by GSE. Will top ten be enough for Clough to earn himself a new contract? As long as the Rams are consistently in the top then my hunch is yes, but everybody will be hoping for better than top ten while seriously challenging for the playoffs.

One thing’s for sure, this coming season Nigel Clough will have no hiding place. Somewhat belatedly, GSE have delivered investment in the playing staff and Clough can have no more excuses.

With, effectively, a whole new team of players arriving, the manager and his backroom staff must get them playing as a cohesive team, preferably sooner rather than later.

Is Nigel Clough the man for the job?

I sincerely hope so and, make no bones about it, this coming season we will find out.



What do you think would be a pass mark in 11/12 to earn Nigel a new contract at DCFC?

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pkay_brum added 15:38 - Jun 24
Yes, Cloughie has to deliver; he's enjoyed a good length of tenure with low achievement but has had to 'waste' most of it in cost-cutting.

With more of a free hand to choose better players, his longevity and credibility will face another test and fans want him to succeed and extend the 'Clough dynasty' at Derby.

He will also have to impress and integrate with the mooted 'Technical Director', to whom he may find himself reporting by the time August arrives.

The assumption is too that GSE do have the stomach for the challenge of Premier League consolidation and growth; promising seasons and glorious failure (welcome as that would actually be) are not sufficient for a club of Derby's level of support and potential.

Supporters now want to see real achievement and an end to the recent continual ignominy and embarrassment.

Until respectable Premier League status is achieved and sustained (difficult as that is nowadays), Derby fans won't replace cynicism with pride.

Go to it, Derby!

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