Nigel Clough: No-nonsense Jose Mourinho is like Dad

Burton boss Nigel Clough insists he can see similarities between his father Brian and Jose Mourinho.

Nigel Clough: No-nonsense Jose Mourinho is like Dad

The Brewers manager has drawn comparisons between the pair ahead of Burton’s trip to Manchester United tonight (8pm).

They go to Old Trafford in the Carabao Cup third round with United joint top of the Premier League and seemingly back on track under Mourinho after struggling since Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.

In his first season in charge last year the Portuguese won the League Cup and also clinched the Europa League to return United to the Champions League for the first time in two years.

Clough can see similarities with Mourinho and his charismatic late father Brian, who won two European Cups, four League Cups, and the old First Division title at Nottingham Forest.

“I think just the way they go about it and the way that they deal with things in such a no-nonsense manner,” he said.

“It’s black or it’s white and that’s it. If a player does the job for him he has him in and if he doesn’t that’s it.

“I think they look at things in very similar ways in that department. I think the way he (Mourinho) deals with the press and the media, there are similarities there but he’s just no-nonsense and says what he thinks and that’s the biggest similarity.

“I have spoken to him but not met him. He did the foreword for the I Believe in Miracles book, the Forest thing. So I spoke to him briefly over that — so I’m looking forward to it.”

Clough was manager when Burton last faced United in the FA Cup in 2006, drawing 0-0 at the Pirelli Stadium to book a replay. They were beaten 5-0 but it earned the club over £500,000 when they were Conference part-timers and in their first season at the Pirelli.

Now, as a Championship side, Clough insisted the game at Old Trafford helped set the club up for their rise up the divisions.

“We got Man United at the absolute perfect time. I think the chairman (Ben Robinson) was in tears. Seriously. He was crying, such was the whole emotion of the day as much as anything. He knew at the time what getting that replay meant for the club going forward.”

Mourinho, meanwhile, insists Michael Carrick has an important role to play at Manchester United, despite not having played a minute of competitive football since being named captain.

The long-serving 36-year-old was named skipper after Wayne Rooney’s summer departure, but his elevated status has not brought any game time. Carrick has not even made the bench at times in the early weeks of the season, but looks set to get some minutes under his belt in the Carabao Cup tonight.

Last season it was not until United’s opening game in this competition that he made his first competitive appearance, before going on to play an important role for the remainder of the campaign — something Mourinho suggests he can do again.

“(Sergio) Romero played the Europa League final, which was the game of the season for us, and he is not playing,” said the United boss. “Ander Herrera was player of the season and is not starting matches. That’s life in big clubs.

“We gave him a contract because we think he is a good player, an important player, he is just in a team where I think in this moment (Nemanja) Matic and (Marouane) Fellaini are in the best form that I have ever seen them.

“I never saw Matic or Fellaini play so well, so he is in a team with these two guys playing absolutely phenomenal, so for Carrick and Ander it’s just patience because that time will arrive and they will be important players for us for sure.

“That’s a team, that’s a squad, we can only play with 11 guys.”

Carrick, Herrera, and Romero are likely to get a chance tonight as David De Gea, Antonio Valencia, Matic, and Eric Bailly have been given two days off.

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox