Shrewsbury Town v Burton Albion preview: Sons, like fathers, treading their own path
There will be plenty of respect in the dugout tomorrow as Sam Ricketts goes toe-to-toe with one of the biggest names in management.
Shrewsbury boss Ricketts admits there is a difficulty that comes with following in the footsteps of a hugely successful father.
Ricketts was a very talented and successful showjumper as a child – a natural in the saddle like his father Derek, the 1978 world champion – before he decided to settle on football in his early to mid-teens.
Nigel Clough, meanwhile, very much trod the path of dad Brian. A goalscoring centre-forward, certainly in his days at Nottingham Forest under his dad, Nigel was always likely to turn to management.
In 15 years in charge of the Brewers over two spells, Clough led Burton from the Southern League Premier through the divisions – albeit he had left for Derby, a club his father managed, before promotion from the Conference was sealed. It was Clough though, who returned to the Pirelli Stadium in late 2015, and guided the Brewers into the Championship, where they lasted two seasons.
Burton’s first ever fixture in the Football League was at Shrewsbury in August 2009. No longer a high-flying non-league club, Burton are very much a stable, ambitious league club now.
“He’s done superbly well at the club over his two spells,” said Ricketts, whose first league game in charge of Shrewsbury was at Burton last December.
“I’ve come across him a few times and spoke to him, whether it be in the reserve game last season or the first team.
“He’s a manager who uncomplicates the game really, wants his team playing the right way, playing football. He’s a winner and does what he can to win the game.
“I did meet his dad once actually, many many years ago, playing against Burton when I was at Telford. He’s certainly got a few of the traits in terms of the managing side.
“I don’t think you can underestimate what Nigel has done at Burton. It’s not easy being a manager, especially following in his dad’s footsteps.
“I remember Burton being a non-league side. Through Nigel, over his two spells, they’ve gone from non-league to the Championship and now a very, very stable League One club which is certainly no mean feat.”
Tomorrow’s Montgomery Waters Meadow clash sees eighth welcome ninth. The Brewers have two wins and two defeats from four games.
Shrewsbury Town (3-5-2):
O'Leary; Beckles, Ebanks-Landell, Pierre; Love, Edwards, Goss, Laurent, Giles; Whalley, Okenabirhie.
Subs: Murphy, Golbourne, Rowland, Thompson, Walker, Udoh, Morison.