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.

Sport
German supporters (left) and Argentina fans
world cup 2014Final gives England fans a choice between to old enemies
Arts and Entertainment
Armando Iannucci, the creator of 'The Thick of It' says he has
tvArmando Iannucci to concentrate on US show Veep
Life and Style
Pepper, the 3ft 11in shiny box of circuits who can tell jokes and respond to human emotions
techDavid McNeill tests the mettle of one of the new generation of androids being developed in Tokyo
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the worldwide Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer debut
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Four ski officials in Slovenia have been suspended following allegations of results rigging
sportFour Slovenian officials suspended after allegations they helped violinist get slalom place
News
14 March 2011: George Clooney testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during a hearing titled 'Sudan and South Sudan: Independence and Insecurity.' Clooney is co-founder of the Satellite Sentinel Project which uses private satellites to collect evidence of crimes against civilian populations in Sudan
people
Arts and Entertainment
Balaban is indirectly responsible for the existence of Downton Abbey, having first discovered Julian Fellowes' talents as a screenwriter
tvCast members told to lose weight after snacking on set
Life and Style
More than half of young adults have engaged in 'unwanted but consensual sexting with a committed partner,' according to research
tech
Life and Style
A binge is classed as four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more for men, consumed over a roughly two-hour period
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice