Derby County manager Nigel Clough backed by Burton Albion boss Gary Rowett
BURTON Albion boss Gary Rowett has backed Derby County manager Nigel Clough, who is coming under fire from some Rams fans.
Derby are without a win in eight matches and they have recorded only one victory in the last 11.
The run of poor results has seen them slide to 15th in the Championship and six points above the bottom three.
A section of fans is criticising Clough and some are calling for a change of manager – but Rowett says the criticism is unfair.
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"I see people battering him and I think they've got to be realistic," said Rowett, whose Burton team is chasing promotion from League Two.
"You've got to judge Nigel Clough on the players and the resources he's had at his disposal.
"If you do, I think the conclusion is that he's doing brilliantly. He's doing a great job."
Rowett made 120 appearances for Derby during the 1990s.
The defender joined the Rams from Everton in 1995 as part of the deal that took Craig Short to Goodison Park.
Rowett was a part of the promotion-winning team under Jim Smith in 1995-96.
"Derby is a big club and I think, because of that, there's an expectancy that they should be in the top six," he said.
"But that is not realistic because it's not a level playing field.
"I'm sure Nigel would love to have gone out and brought four or five top-level Championship players in, as clubs like Cardiff and Hull have done.
"He can't do that.
"He has put three or four youngsters into the team – because he's had to – and he has still got Derby in mid-table. With one or two results, they'll be right back on it.
"I am a bit of a closet Derby County fan, having lived there, played for the club and worked there for a while, so I do care how they are doing."