Tony Docherty insists “it’s time now” to try his hand at management after he ended his long working alliance with best friend Derek McInnes to become Dundee’s new boss.
The 52-year-old was a surprise appointment as Gary Bowyer’s successor on Monday, having spent the majority of his coaching career as assistant to McInnes at St Johnstone, Bristol City, Aberdeen and Kilmarnock.
However, he feels the experience he has gained, allied to 18 years of living in Dundee and his motivation to prove himself as a manager will stand him in good stead as he goes out on his own with the newly-promoted cinch Premiership club.
“Twenty-four years I’ve been coaching,” he said. “I’ve been involved in European competition, I’ve been involved with the national team, I’ve been in the English Championship and the Scottish Premiership.
“I’ll bring passion, authenticity and a work ethic and that’s three ingredients that hopefully will make things work. I’m really, really excited. I’ve learned loads and it’s time now, it’s time.
“I’ve done the hard yards and I think what you get from a new manager is the hunger, motivation and desire to prove people wrong.
“You’re getting all of that with me and you’re also getting the experience and knowledge behind it so hopefully Dundee will get the benefit from that.
“I’ve lived here for 18 years. I know the pulse of this city and I know the passion of the fans. I’m desperate to let them see my team on the pitch and work to get a connection between the team and the fans.”
Docherty came into contention for the Dundee job because he was a coach in the Scotland set-up when Dens Park technical director Gordon Strachan was manager of the national team.
“I’ve worked with Derek for 15 years as assistant and I have had opportunities before but this one feels right for me. I’ve got a real gut feeling about it,” he said.
“Obviously I’ve got a relationship with Gordon Strachan since I worked with him in the national team and I’ve kept in touch with him on a regular basis so I know what the developments are here.
“When the opportunity came up, I spoke with Derek about it. We both knew this day was going to come and he’s fully supportive, it’s totally amicable.
“I’ve had extensive experience – over 750 games as an assistant – and I just felt the time was right for me to go and be the main man and call the shots. I’ve had opportunities to do it before but this one feels right.”
Docherty insists there will be no awkwardness when Dundee face McInnes’ Killie in the top flight next term.
“Not in the slightest,” he said. “Both of us are prepared for that. We’ve spoken about it (Docherty becoming a manager) a lot because we’ve spent that amount of time together.
“Derek’s a really close friend of mine. After my brother, he’s probably the next closest I’ve got so we have spoken about it. It’s something we agreed on amicably, it’s about the development of my career which he is fully supportive of.
“Yes, we’ll lock horns and that first game will be interesting. I think he knows all my tactics.”