Following Colin Calderwood’s departure from Sixfields for St Mary’s last week, Southampton boss Russell Martin explained why he was keen to add the former Scotland international to his backroom staff.
When Martin managed Swansea and MK Dons, he attempted to bring in Calderwood, but the 58-year-old preferred to remain in Northampton. But the allure of Southampton, a Premier League contender, was too strong, and the two teamed up in the dugout for the first time on Saturday during Saints’ Championship match against Millwall.
Martin told the Daily Echo, “He’s a brilliant human being, first and foremost.” I’m really familiar with him and I genuinely trust him. He was the assistant manager at Norwich when we worked there many eons ago. He had a great way of handling the constant complaining I used to do to him.
“He simply has a wonderful rapport with the players, and he’s a coach that I’ve talked to about football with virtually nonstop throughout my career. Despite not working with me, we have had a lot of conversations. For a variety of reasons, I was unable to get him at my two previous clubs despite my best efforts.
“He’s held management and assistant manager positions, and he recently assisted two new managers in getting promoted—Neil Critchley and Jon Brady—by providing them with invaluable expertise and value. After that, he was requested to take over for a few other managers.
“The right opportunity and timing have been topics of much discussion during the past few years. As a player and coach who has essentially done every job there is and has experienced what we are going through thousands of times, I believe Colin will be a huge asset to all of us.
“He’ll contribute significantly. He will ask important questions, push us, and share his personal experiences with us. All of that will be really significant. He is truly an amazing individual, and he will contribute to strengthening our current ties and fortifying some of the work we are undertaking. It’s a huge addition, in my opinion.
“I believe that having a young staff will only benefit us all. Although we know exactly what we want and how to go about it, having someone with his level of experience to talk to will be incredibly helpful.