By Mark Rasdall
So here we are then - Leeds United have won three games in a row, apparently secured new investment in the club and have a home game against Chelsea coming up: almost like old times.
This weekend we visit Derby County, managed by Nigel, son of Brian. The life of Brian was controversial and, of course, is inextricably linked with LUFC history. 'The Damned United' brought to a new generation the events of 1974 and the infamous '44 days' but the book and film didn't really capture the intensity of matches between Derby and Leeds in the early Nineteen Seventies - especially at the old Baseball Ground. Derby's intentions under Clough were much clearer than the mud they rolled in to cynically disrupt our passing game and to provoke us into reactions to appalling fouls. They called us 'dirty' but my word they were filthy on the inside and outside too.
When Clough tried to endear himself to the Leeds United players by allegedly telling them to throw their medals in the bin because they'd earned them by cheating, he forgot just how uncompromising his own teams were. Yes Derby and, later, Forest had players of great skill, but that picture of our own Billy Bremner being literally picked up by the Derby captain, Dave Mackay, should not be forgotten either.
I remember well the Francis Lee bout with Norman Hunter, the Roger Davies 'super sub' moment and, of course, Archie Gemmill who we never did seem to be able to shake off. Maybe a new chapter in our rivalry is about to start? A different stadium with a different member of the Clough family awaits us but, with our own new owners and a new-found belief from the players we have maybe we will leave that place with pride. Sometimes a reminder of where we once were as well as where we want to be again can make the difference.
Brian Clough would certainly have had a dossier on us, every bit as much as Don Revie would have had on such reviled opposition. I wonder if they're still fighting too?
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