He told the Scottish Sun: “There wasn’t a link with Joe before I first worked with him at Portsmouth. Milan Mandaric said to me that he thought I needed another coach at the club. I already had Jim Smith and Kevin Bond, but didn’t have a problem with someone else joining us.
“I made it clear I didn’t want a foreign coach. Someone mentioned Joe to me, stressing that he was a great guy and a good coach. His old team-mate at Manchester United, Scott McGarvey, knew Joe well and told me I wouldn’t go wrong by giving him a chance.
“So I rang Joe out of the blue and arranged to meet him at a motorway services. He came from Bristol and I drove from Bournemouth. I liked him right away and offered him the job. Since then he has been fantastic for me.
“You could put your life on Joe. He is so loyal and such a dedicated coach. Nothing flusters him, he’s steady. He’s staunch.
“Joe knows the game inside out having been a top player and an experienced manager in his own right. He’s also a real family man.
“Joe had been out of the game for a while, so going to Portsmouth was a good opportunity for him.
“And when I left for Spurs I knew right away I wanted him to follow me. Joe’s on your side, he is one million per cent with you and you need that when you walk into a new club. You need people around you who you can rely on and trust.
“Joe does fantastic preparation on the opposition. As a player he was a real warrior. But off the field he’s a very quiet man, not aggressive. Joe would’ve been a very good choice as Scotland manager, although I like George Burley a lot and he’ll do well for you.
“But, if he wanted it, Joe is definitely someone who could be a future international boss. You could do a lot worse than him.
“He would be excellent, but I wouldn’t want to lose him. Joe’s important for me and Spurs.”