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Former Spurs team-mates Colin Calderwood and Sol Campbell to do battle in Cambridge United and Macclesfield Town dug-outs

Sol Campbell is the manager of Macclesfield Town, Cambridge United's opponents on Saturday. Picture: Tony Flashman
Sol Campbell is the manager of Macclesfield Town, Cambridge United's opponents on Saturday. Picture: Tony Flashman

Colin Calderwood will be pitting his wits against former Tottenham Hotspur team-mate Sol Campbell when Cambridge United make the trip to Macclesfield Town on Saturday (May 4).

U’s head coach Calderwood arrived at White Hart Lane in 1993, the season after Campbell made his Spurs debut as a 17-year-old.

They were team-mates for six years, until Calderwood joined Aston Villa in 1999.

“He was a young pro and I was an older pro who had never played in the top league,” said Calderwood.

“I’d as much to prove as he did and so we had six seasons together and from a youngish guy in the team, he was the captain by the time I left.

“He had made his debut in the season before I joined, but in reality my first year and his first full season probably coincided a little bit.

“His first few games he was left-back and maybe right-back on occasions, and made a natural progression to weave in to centre-half.”

It is often said that certain players show their potential as managers or coaches from a young ago but although at the time that may not have been quite the case, Calderwood reflected on Campbell’s traits and can see why he had made the adjustment so well.

“When you ask the question now and you look back, you could see he was very thoughtful and what he was very good at is that he adapted really well,” he said.

“He adapted really well to playing the game but he also adapted well to the tactical side, whichever way the manager was.

“You could see he was comfortable, and he was also really progressive in that he was very single-minded in terms of improving how he could pass with his left foot, etc.

“He was very calm and that calmness he had and his demeanour is almost perfect for a manager with the experience he had as a player and the level he played at, that authority.

“It exudes out of him a little bit, and he is the perfect figurehead to be leading a team and a club.”

Calderwood has also been impressed by Macclesfield’s style of play since Campbell has taken over as manager, and how they have clawed themselves to the verge of safety after a difficult start to the campaign.

“They have done pretty well,” he said. “Some of the goals they’ve scored have been really well constructed and like any of the teams at the bottom of the league, they’ve had some impressive victories and a couple away from home that really standout.

“It will be interesting to talk to him before and after the game; and it might be before anything.”

He added: “I think it was a great appointment for League Two and a great appointment for Macclesfield. He will definitely be a different more experienced person, coach, manager because of the experience he’s had. He’s done well."

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