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Page last updated at 11:58 GMT, Tuesday, 2 June 2009 12:58 UK

Docherty backs Martinez for Bhoys

Tommy Docherty
Tommy Docherty enjoyed 27 years as a manager

Tommy Docherty has backed Celtic's bid to replace Gordon Strachan with Swansea City manager Roberto Martinez.

Former Scotland boss Docherty rejected ex-Scotland and Celtic striker Charlie Nicholas's claim that Martinez is not high profile enough for the job.

"Mr Martinez may not be a big name to a lot of people but I think he's an outstanding manager," the Scotsman told BBC Sport Wales.

"I think it would be a fantastic opportunity for him."

Docherty, who played for Celtic between 1947 and 1949, spent most of his playing career at Preston before having spells at Arsenal and Chelsea.

From 1961 to 1988, he managed a host of clubs including Chelsea, Manchester United and also the Scottish national team in 1971.

"Celtic fans may not be too sure to begin with but the Celtic hierarchy would do their homework before they appoint any manager," said Docherty.

"I saw Swansea City twice last year in the FA Cup against and they played the best football outside of Barcelona that I saw all of last year.

"The football was a joy to watch.

"If Celtic played this brand of football they would be sensational, not only in Scotland but in Great Britain and the continents as well."

He added: "Charlie Nicholas has never managed at any level at all, yet here he makes a statement that Mr Martinez is not a big enough name for Glasgow Celtic."

Former Scotland forward Pat Nevin has also come out in support of Martinez's abilities as a manager.

Nicholas wants a bigger name to be appointed, such as Everton boss David Moyes or new Ipswich manager Roy Keane.

Nevin a fan of Martinez philosophy

"I would be surprised if Celtic fans would be captivated by the news that Celtic are interested by Martinez," Nicholas told BBC Sport Wales.

"I have to say I'm quite surprised about it. Celtic is a club that is obviously close to my heart, but they are a club who seem to be going from manager to manager in terms of budget management.

"And unfortunately I think whoever the manager is, he is going to be controlled and asked and asked to be a glove puppet and financial monitor rather than anything else."

Nicholas spent eight seasons at Celtic Park in two spells, hitting a spectacular 48 goals in just 74 games for the Bhoys between 1980 and 1983.

That persuaded Arsenal to part with £800,000 for the striker, although he never quite fulfilled his early promise and by 1987 was back in Scotland with Aberdeen.

Nicholas then returned to Celtic in 1990, making 114 appearances and scoring 37 goals before leaving for the final time in 1995 for a season with Clyde.

"Martinez, I have to say, is very, very interesting... with the success he has had at Swansea. Martinez has got a lovely footballing philosophy," added Nicholas.

"I like it. I like the style of the whole thing. He plays a lovely passing, European style and Celtic fans would like that.

"But as a personal individual, as a personality, I don't think the Celtic fans will be enamoured by it to be honest with you.

"No disrespect to Martinez, but Celtic fans are looking for a big name to bring big name players and the first reaction, in my mind, would be the Celtic fans saying he would be just controlled by the financial guys."

Swansea City chairman Huw Jenkins has so far refused Celtic's request to talk to 35-year-old Martinez until he has had his own conversation with his prize asset.

The Spaniard is fast developing into one of the most respected managers in the game.

No disrespect to Martinez, but Celtic fans are looking for a big name to bring big name players

Charlie Nicholas

Martinez, who has had experience in Scottish football as a Motherwell player, guided the Swans to a creditable eighth-place in the Championship after earning promotion from League One the previous season.

That success has been achieved on the back of a brand of skilful, passing football which has seen Martinez also linked with managerial jobs at the likes of Wigan and Real Sociedad, while Reading are also thought to be admirers.

Martinez is currently on holiday in Ibiza but expected back at the Liberty Stadium later this week.

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see also
Celtic want Swans boss Martinez
01 Jun 09 |  Swansea
Swansea warn clubs over Martinez
29 May 09 |  Swansea
Moyes rules out return to Celtic
01 Jun 09 |  Celtic
Sunderland set to seal Bruce deal
03 Jun 09 |  Sunderland
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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