Nigel Clough has revealed Derby drawing Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup was the "sign" that convinced him to take the job at Pride Park.
When the fourth-round draw was made on January 4, then-Burton Albion boss Clough was mulling over an offer from Rams chairman of football Adam Pearson to succeed Paul Jewell as the Championship club's manager.
"I said when I first took the job that somebody upstairs was being a bit mischievous when they pulled those balls out," Clough said. "I thought it was a bit of a sign. There was a lot of contemplation going on at the time and my wife came and said to me 'you'll never guess the FA Cup draw'."
The weight of history must have been on the 42-year-old's mind as he contemplated the prospect of following in the footsteps of his late father Brian and taking the leap into league management for the first time after a decade with the Brewers.
Clough senior took Derby from the old Second Division to become champions of England and European Cup semi-finalists during his spell in charge between May 1967 and October 1973.
His achievements down the road at Forest were even greater. 'Old Big Head' guided the Reds to the league title in 1978 before recording back-to-back European Cup triumphs in the two years that followed.
Clough added: "I just treated it as a further sign that taking the Derby job was the right thing for me to do.
"I've got fond memories of both clubs and they will never go away. I have lived very close to Derby all my life and they are like my hometown club.
"After supporting Forest for nine or 10 years and then playing for them for same period of time, I also have strong feelings for them too."
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