Bowyer to take Clough with the smooth at Blackpool
When it comes to managerial role models, Gary Bowyer's takes some beating.
Blackpool’s new boss is hoping to turn to the experience of one of English’s football’s greatest ever managers, Brian Clough, in his new role at Bloomfield Road.
The 44-year-old was once signed by the legendary boss at the age of just 18, while his father Ian was part of Clough’s European Cup double-winning Nottingham Forest side.
And after hanging around the glory as a kid, before being signed, Bowyer is hoping a tiny bit of the greatest has rubbed off.
“I learned so much from Cloughie,” admits Bowyer.
“I was lucky that all of my football career was under Brian Clough, so to speak.
“Under my dad at Hereford to start, which had Forest’s principles and philosophy, then for Brian Clough himself who was, and still is, a legend at Forest.
“Then I left and went to Rotherham for two years and played under John McGovern and Archie Gemmill.
“And that was pure Forest all the way through.
“I know the fans have a right to be entertained, but football is about winning.”
Despite the positive words, Bowyer failed to make a single appearance in five years at Forest before moving to Rotherham the following season.
Sadly back problems forced him to retire in 1997, aged just 25, and it was then he turned to coaching.
After working through his badges, Bowyer joined Blackburn as a youth coach in 2003 helping the breakthrough of the likes of Phil Jones, Anthony Pilkington and Jonathan Walters.
Bowyer eventually benefited from the sacking of Henning Berg in 2012, by standing-in as caretaker boss, winning ten points from a possible 12.
Despite being many people’s choice for the job, he was overlooked in favour of then Blackpool boss Michael Appleton before again becoming caretaker boss later that season.
The following summer he was handed the Blackburn job on a permanent basis and was initially as huge success, guiding the team to 8th place in the Championship table in 2013/14 and 9th the following season.
But in his third year in charge things took a turn for the worse off the field, and he was eventually sacked in November of 2015.
Not that it’s a time of his career he regrets, saying: “It was a magnificent learning curve for me, and the experiences I’ve had at Blackburn stand me in good stead.
“It was a great place to pit your first, full managerial career and there are lots of lessons I’ve learnt positively and negatively from, and I look forward to bringing them into the challenge here at Blackpool now.”
And after taking a job described by both Lee Clark and Neil McDonald as ‘impossible’, it’s fair to say he’ll need those lessons.