Sport Soccer

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Docherty: Ferguson can help Moyes

David Moyes, left, has been told to lean on Sir Alex Ferguson's experience
David Moyes, left, has been told to lean on Sir Alex Ferguson's experience

Former Manchester United manager Tommy Docherty believes David Moyes need not necessarily have any worries about the spectre of Sir Alex Ferguson hanging over him at Old Trafford.

Much has been made of Ferguson's move on to the United board following his retirement as the club's most successful boss last season and how that might affect his successor and a fellow Scot.

Parallels have been drawn between that dynamic and that of 'The Doc' and another massive figure in United's history, Sir Matt Busby.

Docherty was manager of the Red Devils between 1972 and 1977 when Busby was in the boardroom after guiding United to great successes as boss, including the 1968 European Cup final win over Benfica at Wembley.

It is argued, however, that Busby's presence 'upstairs' stifled Docherty's predecessors, Wilf McGuinness and Frank O'Farrell, and the former Scotland boss admits things were difficult for him, notwithstanding the relegation to the former Second Division before he got the club promoted back to the top-flight.

However, the 85-year-old Docherty, speaking at Hampden Park on Monday - 24 hours after being inducted into Scottish Football's Hall of Fame, claimed there is no harm in Moyes using Ferguson's expertise if it is on his terms.

"It is nice to have Sir Alex there," he told Press Association Sport. "If David says 'I want to see Sir Alex, because it is my choice not his, there is a lot of knowledge and advice there, why not pick it if it is good information?' (then that's fine).

"But when I was there with Busby, the old players who, without being disrespectful, were past their sell-buy date, used to by-pass me and go and speak to Busby and that's where a lot of the trouble can start.

"I don't know if Alex still has an office there but if he is there as an ambassador (as well) and if David wants to go to him - well, it is nice to have your neighbour next door.

"If need be go and see him, and if not, carry on doing what he is doing.

"The biggest danger is following Fergie. His record is mind-boggling. No one will ever match that.

"It is an impossible task to win the honours he has won.

"He might do a great job but will that be enough? That is a question you have to answer.

"But David Moyes is a great choice, he was my choice as well. He did a great job at Everton with not a lot of money or great players. He did really, really well and I hope he does well again."

Docherty explained his admiration for Moyes but acknowledged that every Manchester United manager has an advantage over many of his counterparts.

"I just looked at his record at Everton," said the man who managed 13 different clubs. "If you have money and you need to go into the market, you don't buy a 'could be' or 'a maybe' or 'a might be', you are buying a sure thing.

"It is a club that every young boy wants to play for. The biggest problem I had was getting players to leave Manchester United.

"You had no problem getting them coming in. But they didn't want to leave, that was the biggest problem."

Press Association

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