‘I tried to get him at my two previous clubs and it couldn’t quite happen for various reasons.’
Southampton manager Russell Martin has outlined why he was so eager to make Colin Calderwood part of his backroom staff after the former Scotland international left Sixfields for St Mary’s last week.
Martin tried to bring in Calderwood when he was in charge of MK Dons and Swansea, but both times the 58-year-old wanted to stay at Northampton. However, the lure of Premier League chasing Southampton proved too much and the two linked up in the dugout for the first time on Saturday when Saints played Millwall in the Championship.
“First and foremost, he’s a brilliant human being,” Martin told the Daily Echo. “I really trust him and know him very well. We worked together at Norwich many moons ago when he was the assistant manager. I used to moan all the time to him and he had a brilliant way of being able to deal with that.
“He just has a great relationship with the players, and he’s a coach throughout my career who I’ve stayed in real constant contact with and discussed football. We’ve spoken a lot even when he’s not worked with me. I tried to get him at my two previous clubs and it couldn’t quite happen for various reasons.
“He’s been a manager, an assistant manager, he’s helped some young managers recently get promoted in Neil Critchley and Jon Brady, and added huge experience and value to them, and then he’s been asked by a few others to go in.
“We’ve spoken about it a lot over the last couple of years about the right timing and the right opportunity. I think Colin’s going to help all of us because he’s done every job pretty much and has lived what we’re living right now literally thousands of times as a player and coach.
“He will add a huge amount. He will challenge us, he will question things, he will support us, he’ll give us his own experience and all of that will be huge. He’s just a brilliant person and he will come in and help build relationships even more than we already have and really solidify some of the work we’re doing. I think it’s a massive addition for us.
“We have a young staff and I think it will only help us all. We’re really clear on what we want and the process, but being able to touch on someone with his experience is going to be invaluable.”