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Nigel’s dad Brian Clough was undoubtedly one of English football’s greatest managers – probably the greatest – and remains a much-loved figure more than 14 years after his untimely death.
Clough junior, who made 45 appearances for City between 1996 and 1998, will bring his team to the Etihad on Wednesday evening for the Carabao Cup semi-final first leg.
He says Silva was tailor made to play for his twice European Cup-winning dad and that he would also have greatly admired Pep Guardiola,
“I think my dad would have loved the way Pep goes about his job and the way that City play,” said Nigel.
“And when you see a player like David Silva, I can guarantee that dad would have had him in his team every day of the week.
“He would have had absolutely loved a player like David Silva in his team.
“Nottingham Forest had John Robertson, who wasn’t the same sort of player because he was a winger, but he would just tell the Forest players, ‘Give him the ball – I don’t care where he is, just give him the ball and let him get on with it’ – that’s what he said about John and that’s what he would have said about David Silva.
“He’d have loved him.”
Nigel signed from Liverpool in January 1996 for £1.5m and played 45 times, scoring six goals during a turbulent time for the Club.
He was loaned out twice during his stay before joining Burton Albion in 1998 – so everything has come full circle for the likeable Brewers boss.
“It was a tumultuous time for City,” he recalled.
“Relegated twice to the third tier, changing managers, owners… it was all happening.
“It was a vastly different club than the one we see today, but the one thing that enabled the City to come back from where they were is the supporters.
“The City fans stuck by their team through everything and never wavered in numbers – as long as you don’t lose that kind of backing, you’ve always got a chance and I think that’s what stood out for me about City and it was vital in the Club’s resurgence.”
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