Date:Thursday January 25 2007
Forest legend Garry Birtles reckons Jose Mourinho has already carved his name into football history - but insists he's no match for Brian Clough.
The former Reds striker played under Clough in Forest's European Cup triumphs in 1979 and 1980. And he insists that incredible achievement puts the City Ground supremo head and shoulders above Mourinho.
He said: 'Brian Clough is the best because of his longevity, what he achieved and how he achieved it.
'What Mourinho has achieved has already put him up there with the best - particularly winning the Champions' League with an unfancied team like Porto.
'But Clough did it back-to-back with a provincial club. That would be like Barnsley doing the same nowadays. That's what puts him up there as the best.'
Mourinho has been dubbed the new Clough because of his outspoken ways and arrogance.
He has also enjoyed tremendous success - winning four league championships in as many years, the Champions' League, UEFA Cup and Carling Cup.
Despite his achievements at Porto, Birtles believes Mourinho will be judged by his time at Chelsea, bankrolled by Roman Abramovich's billions.
He said: 'Mourinho has not won the Champions' League with Chelsea. He will be judged because he's got so much money and can bring in anyone. Clough won the European Cup back-to-back with a small club, and was cheated out of another final.
'There are those who say Forest were the greatest to win it because of where they came from.'
Even if Birtles thinks Mourinho has some way to go before he can be considered as good as Clough, he admits he is an admirer of the Chelsea boss.
'He was a breath of fresh air when he came to the Premiership,' he said. 'It's nice to see someone with a similar personality to Clough. The game hasn't had one for a while.
'I think Clough would've got on with him.'
Nottingham Evening Post
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