Paul Hurst looking forward to Clough Jnr reunion
Student of the game Paul Hurst is a big fan of the Clough family and is anticipating a reunion with his own former manager Nigel tomorrow.
Clough Junior brings his Burton Albion to Montgomery Waters Meadow, nine years after taking Hurst on loan with the Brewers when they were a part-time Conference outfit, writes Lewis Cox.
Hurst is a keen reader and takes aspects of management from historical figures or current greats. As with any football fan, he has heard the tales of the enigmatic and legendary Brian Clough.
The Shrewsbury manager respects both father and son equally and for different reasons. Like Hurst, Nigel Clough, despite featuring for Nottingham Forest and Liverpool in his playing days, earned his management stripes at the foot of the English game.
Hurst cut his teeth with Ilkeston Town and Boston United before managing Grimsby Town.
“I respect him for that,” Hurst said on Nigel, who is nine years his senior.
“He obviously had his dad and for some people he (Brian) is right up there with one of the best managers ever.
“Brian had a different style than most but had a fantastic career. To have to follow in his footsteps brings its own difficulties but he’s done fantastically well.
“It’s nice that someone of that name, and with his own playing career, was willing to start so low down. I have total respect for people like that.
“Some people are fortunate, they get chances straight away at a high level.
“If they take it, then fair play. But he got his hands dirty, he looked after himself, he would play in reserve games from time to time.
“For me he’s learned his trade. It’ll be nice to see him again.”
Forest legend Brian, who passed away 13 years ago, won back-to-back European Cups in 1979 and 1980, among dozens more medals.
Alongside that, however, he is recalled for his charismatic approach to the game. Outspoken but, more often than not, adored for it.
“I’ve watched the film (The Damned United) and things like that.” said Hurst.
“I don’t think we’re naturally anything like the same personalities but you listen to the really interesting stories.
“I think it’s nice he did it his way. The (coaching) courses are great but if it’s not what’s natural to you then there’s no point going down that route.
“You have to be true to yourself and he’s arguably the biggest example for that.”
Tomorrow’s visitors Burton are nowadays renowned for punching well above their weight in the second tier. Hurst sees the Brewers as a sign of inspiration for ‘smaller’ clubs in reaching their goals.
The boss said: “I think they give so-called smaller clubs hope.
“I guess I was at a club in Rotherham where we weren’t the biggest team. They’ve come down to League One now and are a different animal but in Championship terms they were still one of the smaller clubs.
“For Burton to stay there last season was a great achievement against the opposition with far bigger crowds and budgets.”