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Leeds United's John McGovern talks about Brian Clough era

He was one of the familiar faces Brian Clough turned to for support during his nightmare spell as Leeds United boss.

So who better than John McGovern to give a view on The Damned Utd, a film telling the story of Ol' Big 'Ead's 44-day reign at Elland Road?

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McGovern, signed by Clough from former club Derby County immediately after arriving at United in 1974, was back in Leeds yesterday for a coaching event at Horsforth's Trinity & All Saints College.

And unlike some of his former Elland Road team-mates, the 58-year-old Scot is unfazed by the prospect of Cloughie's turbulent stay in West Yorkshire getting the big screen treatment.

McGovern, who won two European Cups with Clough at Nottingham Forest after their respective departures from Leeds, told the YEP: "I'm looking forward to the film.

"I was fortunate enough to be asked down on to the set and ended up meeting myself, or the actor playing me anyway.

"They were filming a match situation and I told him to get a tackle in, which was probably what Clough would have said!"

Due for release next year and based on Yorkshire author David Peace's novel of the same name, the 10m film has been criticised by some of United's legendary stars of the 1970s.

They believe it won't provide a true account of Clough's ultimately-disastrous attempts to win over a dressing room still fiercely loyal to his predecessor Don Revie.

Asked if Clough was always on a hiding to nothing with a team whose playing style he had repeatedly condemned, McGovern said: "I think he missed (right-hand man] Peter Taylor.

"When you think about the success they had at Derby, it might have been different at Leeds had Peter been there.

"It was a difficult situation for Clough. As soon as I arrived at the club, I knew it wasn't going to be easy.

"There was an atmosphere that you could sense - and it didn't get any better!"

McGovern was at Trinity & All Saints to give a talk to the annual get-together of coaches involved with the Leeds-based chain of Brazilian Soccer Schools.

 
 
 

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