Give them three years: Veteran Docherty says bosses at Sheffield United and Wednesday need time to make mark

editorial image
Have your say

TOMMY Docherty - who managed a dozen football teams over nearly three decades - believes Gary Megson and Micky Adams should each be given three years to prove their worth at Sheffield Wednesday and Sheffield United.

Both the Steel City teams are down in the soccer doldrums, recently relegated United joining the Owls in the third tier.

But ‘The Doc’ who managed Rotherham United for 13 months in the 60s insists the slump is the fault of both club ownerships - rather than individual managers.

Asked where the blame lies for the slide suffered by both sides in recent times, Docherty said: “It is the people who run the game - those in charge of clubs.

“They don’t give the the managers a decent opportunity to a rebuild a side that has just been relegated, for example.

“When he comes in he (a manager) has to get rid of the players that he thinks are not good enogh and try and bring in players he thinks are going to improve the side.

“Ofcourse a decent result at the start with one or two good victories straight away can give a false sense of security - everybody thinks ‘We are on our way back up again. ‘

“But it doesn’t work that way. You have got to be patient and build the team. The manager has go to have a bit of security.”

Docherty said both Adams and Megson must be given a full opportunity to put their personal stamp on on Bramall Lane and Hillsborough - something that cannot happen in a few months.

“It is only then you can judge them. I’d give them at least three years. The three things you need to be successful in that job are: luck, great players and a sense of humour. If you have got those three you will have a chance.”

Docherty has warm memories of both football sides in Sheffield.

“I remember playing at Bramall Lane against Jimmy Hagan, for Preston North End. I had three semi finals at Hillsborough. That is a tremendous place. Even now, if they are do well next season, they could get 35,000 there, they hav fantastic support.”

Doc signed for the Millers in August 1967.

He recalled: “I had left Chelsea on a Saturday and Jimmy Hill rang me on Monday asking if I fancied a job at Rotherham.

“One of my weaknesses I am very impatient. When I lost a job I couldn’t get back quick enough” said the 83-year-old. “I told him I was meeting with Coventry City on the Monday for their job and on the way up there I heard on the radio Noel Cantwell had been appointed manager there so I phoned Jimmy and he said to carry on to meet Mr Eric Purshouse.

“I promised to take them out of second division and I did...the third! ‘Tommy you are a man of your word,’ they said” laughed Docherty, who also managed Manchester United and Scotland.

“Yorkshire people are lovely and this is a great catchment area ofcourse” said Docherty, speaking during a visit to Sheffield.

The Doc also had praise for Chesterfield, who became champions last Saturday.

“They have done fantastic, it is marvellous to see.”

Docherty says he will not venture back to Old Trafford, because of an encounter with office staff, a few years ago.

He said he’d asked the club for two tickets to take his daughter to a match on her 21st birthday - but he’d expected them for free and was upset that the club invoiced him.

“Chelsea on the other hand, send me a £200 (Christmas) hamper from Harrods every year for the last 18 years. I am invited six times a year to go to matches.”

He also described the prices fans are having to pay for tickets at this year’s Manchester United v Barcelona Champions League final at Wembley as”ludicrous.”

He said some fans may even turn their back on professional football and head off to watch non-league instead.

“The only way way supporters can show their distaste of the club if they feel they have not been fairly treated, is not go.”

He said non league club FC United of Manchester had invited him to their games, but he said: “I have not had the chance to go yet.”

He added he was “fed up” with the “acting” at high level football and “players on £50,000 a week that were happy to sit on the bench.”