Megson relishes chance to follow Clough legacy

Taking over a club next to bottom of the Championship and six points from safety might be considered a brave move for any manager with a reputation to protect. But Gary Megson had more personal reasons to think twice about accepting the role as the new man in charge at Nottingham Forest.

This, after all, was the place where a previous period of employment had ended, after only three months, with him being told he should never have been hired in the first place.

Such was life as a player under Brian Clough for Gary Megson, signed from Sheffield Wednesday for £175,000 in August 1984, sold to Newcastle for £130,000 in November of the same year, having made not even one first-team appearance.

"When you make a mistake the best remedy is to admit it and try to get rid," Clough recalled, some years later. At the time, he was even more forthright, sending Megson on his way, with typical sensitivity, with the words: "He couldn't trap a bag of sand."

"At the time, I was pleased to be leaving, to be honest," Megson said yesterday. "I did not enjoy being here and I was disappointed because I did not show myself in the best light. But these things happen, and I did recover as a player in the top flight with Manchester City, Sheffield Wednesday, Newcastle and Norwich."

The experience may even have shaped him as the non-nonsense manager he has become. Moreover, rather than be disrespectful of the man who put Forest into football legend, which was one criticism laid at the door of his predecessor, Joe Kinnear, Megson says Forest should embrace the heritage Clough bequeathed and try to live up to it.

Unveiled as the latest of the late maestro's successors in the Forest trophy room, the place within the City Ground where the weight of tradition is so great the floorboards almost creak with it, he insisted the club should take pride in its past.

"When a club is not doing well there is a tendency to focus on the past and on the future and not to deal with the here and now," he said. "But this club has a great history and it is not something to be frightened of, it is something we should try to emulate. It is not something you should harp on about but neither is it something you should dismiss. In fact, it is part of the job's attraction."

Of most concern now to Megson, who has a two and a half year contract, is the immediate future, which sees Forest, struggling with debts and vulnerable to predatory interest in Andy Reid and Michael Dawson, with 18 matches in which to preserve their Championship status.

"The situation is not critical but it is serious," he said. "It is worse than when I took over at West Brom in that there is a gap between where we are now and safety but if you look at the squad and the League position the two do not go together.

"I don't know yet what the problem is but whatever needs to be done will be done."

Megson had been out of work for two months, having been sacked by West Bromwich, where he won promotion to the Premiership twice but had a difficult relationship with the chairman, Jeremy Peace. He comes with Frank Burrows as his number two, as he was at The Hawthorns. Mick Harford, who had been in temporary charge since Joe Kinnear resigned last month, leaves Forest, along with the coach, Des Walker.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic
Pakistani women come out fighting: A hard-hitting play focuses on female Muslim boxers

Pakistani women come out fighting

Hard-hitting new play 'No Guts, No Heart, No Glory' focuses on female Muslim boxers
Leonora Carrington transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star

Surreal deal: Leonora Carrington

The artist transcended her stolid background to become an avant garde star
LGBT History Month: Pupils discuss topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage

Education: LGBT History Month

Pupils have been discussing topics from Sappho to same-sex marriage
11 best gel eyeliners

Go bold this season: 11 best gel eyeliners

Use an ink pot eyeliner to go bold on the eyes with this season's feline flicked winged liner
Cricket World Cup 2015: Tournament runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

Cricket World Cup runs riot to make the event more hit than miss...

The tournament has reached its halfway mark and scores of 300 and amazing catches abound. One thing never changes, though – everyone loves beating England
Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Heptathlete ready to jump at first major title

Katarina Johnson-Thompson: Ready to jump at first major title

After her 2014 was ruined by injury, 21-year-old Briton is leading pentathlete going into this week’s European Indoors. Now she intends to turn form into gold
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot