Teddy On Clough

Teddy Sheringham makes a poignant return to Nottingham Forest, grateful for the legacy of Brian Clough's teachings when he was there.

Teddy, who played under Cloughie for a year, says:

"I have a lot of fond memories; I was taught to play very differently from how I was at Millwall and I enjoyed every minute."

His first meeting with the legend made a lasting impression.

"When I went up there everyone welcomed me to the club and said 'have a good time, Teddy' and such like," he recalls.

"He came walking down the corridor and said 'ah, you must be Edward Sheringham' to which I replied 'yeah, boss, I am, but I prefer to be called Teddy, not Edward.'

"'Welcome to the club, Edward,' he said, and walked off - he had made his point.

"You didn't know if it would be a good day or a bad day with him but he was a big influence in opening my eyes into how football can be played.

"When you are at one club for such a long time you can get set in your ways and when I went to Forest it was completely different to what I had known.

"It wasn't about tactics or set pieces, but working for your mate and enjoying playing with the ball - and as a player, that is music to your ears.

"He would say there is only one ball, go and enjoy it, and that is all footballers want to do."

Teddy regrets that he never had the chance to play under Clough as England manager and adds:

"I think he would have been a very good manager, what we needed along the way - someone who is in charge that is not scared of the FA.

"He would have been there purely on football reasons; very rarely do you see other managers get sacked for things outside of football - look at the Brazil manager, for instance, who is judged on results, and if he doesn't win the World Cup he is out.

"I am sure he would have said 'judge me on my football results' and I am certain he would have got it right.

"You have got to be very single-minded as a football boss and he was one of the best at being single-minded."

He recalls how Clough once dropped him - for his own good - and says:

"I had been there for about 15 games and I wasn't doing exactly what he wanted me to do on a football pitch.

"Rather than sitting me down in the office and going through everything, he dropped me and asked me if I wanted to sit on the bench.

"Being a young, petulant footballer I said 'what would I want to sit on the bench with you for?' - I had the hump and wanted to be left alone.

"But he said 'no - you, are coming on the bench' - and just listening to him and how he wanted the game played and what he wanted his strikers to do on the pitch made me realise what he wanted from me.

"He put me back in the next game - and I scored a hat trick.

"I like coaches to be involved day to day and teaching players how to do things at the right times rather than talking about a game you played in two weeks ago.

"He just sat me down and talked me through the game of football, and at the age of 23 that was a big eye-opener."

Teddy will not let the occasion deflect him from trying to get a win at his former club, and he adds:

"Different commotions go on around a game of football but at the end of the day it is about getting three points.

"I don't expect anything by way of a reception, though it might be different because of the occasion this time, but as long as the West Ham fans are supporting us that is all that matters."

As for his own future beyond this summer, he concludes:

"My thinking is that I have a one year contract at Upton Park and I want to get them in the Premier League - I can't look beyond that, or indeed Sunday's game because things happen that you can't account for."