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Nigel Clough’s latest comments could reveal destination for next job

Nigel Clough’s latest comments could reveal the destination for his next job having left League One side Burton Albion back in May.

After guiding the Brewers to 12th place in the table, he chose to step down and was replaced by player/manager Jake Buxton.

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It ends his second spell with the club, having first joined them in 1998, in the second tier of non league, before returning back in 2015 to guide the club to the Championship.

Speculation in where his future lies has grown after being listed as a favourite for two separate manager vacancies.

As of Wednesday 17th June, he is listed as the second favourite (7/2) for the job at newly relegated Bolton Wanderers.

Though it would seem he’s more up for another go at managing in the Championship.

Reports state that Clough is in negotiations to join Birmingham City ahead of next season after the club confirmed that Spanish boss Pep Clotet will be leaving at the end of the season.

Asked if he fancied another go in the second tier, he told The Athletic: “I’d absolutely love to.

“But I’d like a fair crack anywhere. It’s not so much about the level. It’s about the sort of people you work for and the club.”

On his footballing philosophy, he said: “I want to attack. I think we were one of the top scorers away from home in the country this season. I want to be entertaining, and to play the way you’d want to see a team play if you were going to watch a match.”

His comments were backed up the fact that at one point, his Burton side’s 31 goals away from home was the second highest total in England – behind only Manchester City.

“I think some footballers are so sterile at the moment. Everybody is playing safe — back, back, back. I just want my team to play with freedom – within a framework; you still want to win and everything.”

On Clough departing Burton, chairman Ben Robinson said: “Nigel Clough has achieved phenomenal success with the club during two spells going back 22 years. During this time, the club has enjoyed the greatest period in its history including two years in the Championship, which for a club of our stature is a remarkable achievement.

“Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic is having a dramatic impact on all football clubs, meaning we have to make difficult financial decisions going forward in order to safeguard the club and ensure it still exists for the supporters and the benefit of the community for generations to come. At present we have no idea when football will be safe to re-start and whether we will be able to play in front of crowds or behind closed doors, which brings a high degree of financial uncertainty.

“It’s therefore with a heavy heart that after talks with Nigel, Gary and Simon we have agreed that their departure will help us meet these challenges. I want to thank them for all their hard work and dedication over their long association with the club.

Nigel Clough said: “It has been an incredible two decades for Burton Albion and it has been a pleasure to share those times with everyone and I want to say a big thank you to all the players, coaches, staff and supporters for being a massive part of that.

“From winning the Unibond, to gaining promotion to the Championship and then against all the odds surviving for another year was beyond all our wildest dreams.

“I have worked with the Chairman since 1998 and we have enjoyed a very long and successful working relationship and I want to thank him for all his support and to wish him and the football club all the best for the future.

“It’s therefore with great sadness that Gary, Simon and I have decided to step away. We are now looking forward to our next challenge in football wherever and whenever that is.

“We couldn’t leave the club in better hands than with Jake, who as captain has shown himself to be a respected leader on and off the pitch. It’s a great opportunity for him and there is no better club at which to make your start in management.

“We hope that by stepping away it helps the club with the financial pressures in these unprecedented times, and that it will also help the club secure the jobs of as many of the staff as possible going forward. We are sure Jake will benefit from the experience and continuity of having as many of the current backroom staff as possible supporting him.”

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