“It’s three points at stake and that’s it. I don’t feel we have to justify anything,” he added.
“If anything, the history in the last three years people are probably more accepting of the job we did at Derby than when we left.
“It was disappointing we didn’t get the time to see it through.”
Derby County manager Nigel Pearson expects a tough test against a club on the rise, managed by an experience campaigner.
“I have known him [Clough] for a long time, both playing against him and through his managerial career and I know he will be putting demands on his players,” Pearson told BBC Radio Derby.
“Their stability over a number of years in terms of how the club has been run and managed has been a big part in them being able to progress. To be meeting them in the Championship is a testament as to how they have progressed as a club.”
BBC Radio Derby’s Burton Albion correspondent Joe Shennan:
“For Burton Albion, this is the big one. Even 12 months ago the idea of playing Derby County in a league match seemed little more than a fanciful dream. Now that the two clubs will now meet in the Championship is arguably the single most extraordinary testament to the rise of the Brewers, who have spent their entire history in the shadow of their much larger and far more illustrious neighbours.
“Tuesday evening’s EFL Cup thrashing by Liverpool was little more than a formality for the Reds – indeed, it had the feel of an exhibition game. This Friday night under the lights will be anything but, as Burton go in search of the greatest result in their league history.”
BBC Radio Derby’s Rams correspondent Ed Dawes:
“The Rams go to the Pirelli Stadium still searching for that level of performance regular watchers of the team in the past few years crave for. High tempo, short passing and potency in front of goal have taken Derby close in recent years. Under Nigel Pearson they are hard to score against, but have so far struggled to score themselves despite creating a number of good chances.
“They are playing a different way now and it will take time to acclimatise. “Putting a shift in” is a regular phrase thrown up on commentary and some players have left a little out of the field at times. There is one thing for sure, the new regime will not stand for that. It is evident by the animated figure of Nigel Pearson in the technical area during matches that it will be addressed.”
This is the first meeting between these sides in any competition.
Nigel Clough was in charge of Derby between 2009 and 2013, managing 233 games in all competitions.
This is the first game Clough has managed against his former employers.
Burton will be the 103rd different league team that the Rams have faced in their history.
No Championship side has scored more headed goals than Burton this term (four) – level with Barnsley.
Burton’s John Mousinho has provided the most assists in the Championship so far this term (three).
Derby have both kept three clean sheets this season; a joint-league high with Brighton.