Crossley on 'Master of Psychology' Brian Clough
Updated: Nov 2, 2021
FORMER Nottingham Forest goalkeeper Mark Crossley has told Superstar Speakers of the amazing psychology of legendary manager Brian Clough.
Crossley, who made more than 300 appearances between the sticks for The Reds between 1989 and 2000, revealed how Cloughie eased his nerves before his First Division debut – and helped keep his feet firmly on the ground a few weeks later.
Crossley was a 19-year-old rookie when Forest suffered a goalkeeping crisis before an important City Ground clash with mighty Liverpool.
Regular guardian Steve Sutton was struck by a virus, Hans Segers was on loan at Wimbledon and the two other goalkeepers were injured but Crossley was almost the last to know he was playing that night.
“I found out when he called me out of the boot room at 7pm, just 45 minutes before kick off,” said Crossley. “He told me ‘bring you boots, and it would help if you brought your gloves with you as well – you’re playing".
“He probably thought I’d shit myself if I knew I was facing up to
Kenny Dalglish, Peter Beardsley and John Barnes.”
Forest triumphed 2-1 that night with Crossley, with a little help from the ever-unpredictable manager, going home with the match ball signed by both sets of players. But just when he thought he’d cracked it after keeping goal in three successive wins, Crossley was brought back down to earth by Clough in his own unique style.
“I was just about to go home on the Saturday night when Clough told
me to report to his house the following morning...When I got there, he told me “thank you for agreeing to play for Simon’s team today. They haven’t got a goalie – and you’ll do!”
Crossley then played for Derby Sunday League Division Five side run by Clough’s son Simon, with the team subsequently being fined £50 for playing a ringer.
“Cloughie took it out of my wages,”
adds Crossley who describes the late former Forest manager as a ‘master of psychology’.
To hear the full interview from Mark Crossley go to the following youtube link