Matt Doherty has admitted that although he is enjoying life at Tottenham Hotspur, he has not been happy with the standard of his performances this season.
Doherty would have hoped to have become Tottenham’s first-choice right-back when he arrived from Wolves in the summer but the 29-year-old has played second fiddle to Serge Aurier for the majority of the campaign so far.
The Republic of Ireland international has not been able to take the opportunities that have come his way, often being found wanting defensively while also failing to make the same impact he had in the final third during his times at Wolves.
Speaking to Tottenham’s matchday programme on Sunday (as relayed by Football.London), he said: “I love being here. I have really enjoyed my time here but, personally, it’s not been a great season for me so far.
“It’s been a period of adjustment for me but obviously, when playing, I’ve made some mistakes which isn’t the normal thing for me to do.
“I usually pride myself on being a consistent player and not making the errors that I have made this season. I just have to put even more focus and concentration in for 90 minutes and try to be mistake-free, while also expressing myself in the offensive parts of the field.”
Doherty stated that being deployed as a right-back requires a different approach than playing as a wing-back but he admitted that he expected to do better than he has done so far.
“Obviously, it’s not the same [playing at right-back compared to right wing-back]. When you play at wing-back, you don’t have to defend as much,” he said.
“You don’t get exposed in defensive situations as much as when playing as a full-back, so it is definitely different, but it is not something that it is totally alien to me. I have played there an awful lot – in the national team, I play in a back four.
“I haven’t been playing that well so far but, hopefully, I can turn that around. My form has not been the best, so it has been a tough start but, obviously, I want to turn it around as soon as possible.
“There are things I need to improve on and things I need to adapt to. It’s been an indifferent start for me personally but, there is a lot more to come.”
The experienced defender has shown sings of improvement over the last couple of weeks, with Jose Mourinho even describing his performance in the 4-1 win Over Crystal Palace as ‘impeccable’.
Doherty admitted that he feels he has now turned a corner after a difficult start to his Spurs career.
He added: I’m starting to turn the corner, I think. I’m starting to feel good again, to see things a lot quicker and pictures on the pitch a lot clearer,” said the right-back.
“I feel like, lately, I’ve started to go around that bend, the form is kind of improving and, when that happens, things start to come off for you and that obviously builds your confidence. So, going into games, I feel really good with where I am.”
Spurs Web Opinion
A lot of Tottenham fans have been too quick to write Doherty off. We have seen with the likes of Sissoko and even Aurier to an extent that some players take time to settle at a new club but could go on to become important players for the side. Doherty is certainly experienced enough to come through this difficult spell and get back to playing his best football.
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