Skip to main content Skip to site footer

Top of the table - a familiar sight for Nigel Clough's Burton Albion

11 December 2015

Nigel Clough begins his second spell at Burton Albion this weekend, with the club leading the Sky Bet League 1 standings ahead of their trip to Gillingham.

The Brewers topping the table is nothing new to Clough, who took the club from the Southern Premier League to the brink of The Football League during his decade-long spell last time around.

The past...

It was Friday 23rd October 1998 when Clough - a former England international - arrived at Eton Park, the home of Burton Albion at the time.

As well as managing, Clough also featured in Burton's midfield, and he played his part in turning around the club's fortunes.

Following consecutive second-placed finishes, the Brewers moved to the Unibond League and racked up over a century of points and goals on their way to a first-ever Championship title, which sealed their promotion to the Conference.

In 2005, Burton relocated to their new Pirelli Stadium home and gradually became promotion contenders in their bid for a place in The Football League.

A Play-Off loss to Cambridge in 2007/08 didn't dampen the spirits. The following season, Clough guided Burton to the Conference summit, building up a strong lead, before departing for Derby County in January 2009.

Burton held on for promotion that year, and the club have gone from strength-to-strength since. Clough's successor Gary Rowett left Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink in a great position to achieve promotion from Sky Bet League 2, which he duly accomplished, and the Dutchman has done the same for the returning Clough.

The 49-year-old now picks up where he left off, with Burton top of the table. Only this time, they are two tiers higher.

...and the present

Saturday will provide the sternest of tests for Clough, as Burton travel to fourth-placed Gillingham. Sky Bet League 1 is finely poised after 20 games, meaning the Gills will leapfrog the Brewers with three points at Priestfield.

The away side has never emerged victorious in seven previous encounters between the two, and Gillingham have four wins from four when welcoming the Brewers to Kent. Justin Edinburgh's men are also unbeaten on home soil this term, with eight wins and two draws from their 10 matches.

Can the Brewers end that streak and get Clough off to a flying start? Follow our matchday Twitter feed - @SkyBetLeague1 - this weekend to find out!

Advertisement block