Alan Hutton has admitted that he feels sorry for Matt Doherty after Roy Keane singled him out for criticism last weekend, suggesting that the pundit’s words will not help the Spurs defender’s confidence.
Doherty has not had the impact he would have hoped for since arriving at Tottenham from Wolves last summer.
The Republic of Ireland international has not been able to displace Serge Aurier as the club’s starting right-back.
When opportunities have come his way, the 29-year-old has not made much of an impression and has looked well short of the required quality.
Reports indicate that Jose Mourinho is not convinced that Doherty is capable of succeeding in North London and the Spurs boss would not be against moving him on in the summer should his form not improve over the next couple of months.
Keane alleged last weekend that Spurs are an average side without Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, with the former Manchester United midfielder singling out Doherty for criticism, insisting that he was not good enough to help Tottenham to a top-four finish.
However, Hutton claimed that the former Wolves man is capable of riding out this spell and proving his worth to the Tottenham side.
When asked about Keane’s criticism, the former Spurs defender told Football Insider: “It does take time to settle and I understand that but what won’t be helping is the criticism.
“You hear the things that are being said, obviously by the likes of Roy Keane, things like that. It’s not ideal for Doherty, especially when you know you’re maybe not hitting the heights you should be.
“It’s a difficult situation for him but it’s only going to make him stronger if he comes to the other end of it.
“I thought it was quite harsh, in my opinion, to kind of attack him in that way.
“Everybody’s got their own opinion but it’s up to the player to prove him wrong then. That’s what I’d be using it as and I think Doherty will as well.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Doherty’s performances this season have not been up to scratch and he certainly needs to show a marked improvement if he is to have a future at Spurs. However, some fans are being too quick to write him off. We have seen several examples of players struggling for confidence in their first season at the club, only to look a lot better after settling in (with Sissoko being one example). So, I am still hopeful that the former Wolves man can come good.
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