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Moyes won't top Ferguson 'in a million years' - Docherty

ESPN staff
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Former Manchester United manager Tommy Docherty has warned David Moyes he will never top Sir Alex Ferguson's achievements "in a million years" and said the consolation is he will become a very rich man if the Premier League champions ever sack him.

Docherty, who managed United from 1972 to 1977, believes Moyes is the right man for the job but believes he deserves sympathy for replacing Ferguson, who won 13 league titles and two Champions Leagues in his 26-year reign at Old Trafford.

Speaking at his induction to the Scottish Football Hall of Fame at Hampden Park, the 85-year-old Docherty said: "I feel sorry for David Moyes. How can you replace Fergie's record? You could live to be one million years old and not see it surpassed.

"But two years ago, when people started asking me who I thought would replace Fergie, I said Moyes and Martin O'Neill.

"Alex was the man behind his appointment. He did an incredible job at Everton with the resources he had at his disposal.

"He consolidated things and built a good team. A lot of people say, 'Oh, he never won anything with Everton' but that's unfair. There are very few prizes to go around at the end of a season.

"The great thing for David is he has a six-year contract so, if they sack him next year, they'll need to give him five million pounds.

"If you are a failure as a manager today, you are a millionaire. You don't need to win anything. But I think David Moyes is an excellent manager and I hope things work out for him."

Like Moyes, Docherty managed under the shadow of a famous predecessor. Sir Matt Busby, who was in charge from 1969 to 1972, still exerted a major influence during his five-year reign.

But he believes Moyes will have more freedom to make his own choices than he did in the 1970s.

He added: "I'm hoping David does well because he's a great coach and a very nice man as well but managing United is different from managing any other club because of all the politics: Henry Kissinger wouldn't have lasted 24 hours at Old Trafford.

"When I tried to sign [England goalkeeper] Peter Shilton from Stoke, Sir Matt Busby said we're not paying £200,000 for any player. Then, when I told him that Stoke were paying him £2,000 a week, he said that we wouldn't be paying anyone that much. Anyone I wanted to sign had to be Sir Matt's choice too."

Docherty's colourful management career lasted from 1961 and 1988 and he took charge of the Scotland national side and 13 club teams, including Chelsea, Aston Villa, Porto, Derby and Queens Park Rangers.

During his time at Old Trafford, United were relegated to Division 2 in 1974 - their first demotion since 1937 - but won promotion the following season. He reached the FA Cup final in 1976 and 1977, winning the latter, before being sacked for having an affair with the physiotherapist's wife, who he subsequently married.

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