Nigel Clough's hopes of following in his father's footsteps and managing Derby are closer to realisation after Rams chairman Adam Pearson admitted on Monday he was one of the names on a "very small radar" being monitored by the club.

Clough, whose late father Brian managed Derby between 1967 and 1973 and led them to the old Division One title in 1972, has been heavily tipped to make the short move to Pride Park from Burton Albion to fill the Rams' vacant managerial post after Paul Jewell resigned a week ago.

"Certainly Nigel has got lots of attributes you look for in a manager and I have spoken to (Burton chairman) Ben Robinson about him," Pearson said.

"But I speak to him often anyway because of the close connection between the two clubs. We did have a chat about Nigel but that is as far as it has gone.

"There are certainly other candidates on our shortlist but he is one who is on our very small radar."

Pearson has said that he wants to make an appointment within the next few days and Clough's emotional ties with the club, coupled with his impressive work at Burton, would make him a popular choice.

Clough's side are currently 13 points clear at the top of the Blue Square Premier League and therefore on course for a first-ever promotion to the Football League.

Pearson also revealed that current caretaker manager Chris Hutchings was on the shortlist of names. Hutchings has been placed in temporary control of first-team affairs while Jewell's successor is found.

He oversaw Derby's slender 4-3 victory at non-league Forest Green in the FA Cup third round on Saturday and will remain in charge for tomorrow's Carling Cup semi-final first leg against Manchester United at Pride Park.

Pearson insists he remains a contender for the job, adding: "He is still very much in the frame. He prepared the team well and the training ground is buoyant, so for that alone he is on the shortlist."

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