Matt Doherty opens up on pre-season and struggles during last campaign

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Matt Doherty has opened up on his struggles last time out during his first Tottenham campaign, while also commenting on the pre-season ahead.

The Irish full-back has been reunited with his former Wolves manager, Nuno Espirito Santo in North London this summer, after enjoying many successful years together at the West Midlands club.

When Tottenham Hotspur signed Matt Doherty from Wolves for £15m last summer, it looked to be one of the bargains of the transfer window.

In the 2019/20 campaign with Wolves, the right-wing-back managed an impressive seven goals and five assists in 50 games across all competitions (TransferMarkt).

However, his first season at Spurs was not as eye-catching, only playing 1200 Premier League minutes, scoring no goals and struggling for consistent starts under Mourinho.

Doherty has opened up on his shortcomings last time out but insisted that he is ready to get back on the pitch for the new season with Spurs.

He said (Spurs TV – as quoted by Football London): “I think at the start of my career I was dreading [pre-season] but I think that’s because at the start you’re much younger and you don’t do any training in the summertime, you do what you want so you’re coming back completely empty of any legs in you or any energy at all.

“The older you get, you start to do a bit more, you look after yourself a bit more and now I quite look forward to it.

“I know some people had six weeks off, I had four. It’s quite a long time to be off so by the end of you’ve had your holidays and your rest time and you want to get back to work. You’re dying to get back on the pitch.”

On last season, he added: “I want to play as many games as I can [this coming season]. I want to contribute in a positive way as much as I can.

“Obviously I didn’t feel I gave my best last season for different reasons, but I’m feeling pretty positive, getting a full pre-season under my belt and see what I can do and where we can take this season.

“There were a few little reasons where last season I was in the team and then I had COVID and came out. I struggled to get back in really. I just had a little loss of form and at times I was struggling to regain that as well.

“Little things weren’t going my way. I maintained my work ethic and I probably worked harder last year than I may ever have done before. I just wasn’t able to emulate that work on the pitch when I did get the opportunity.

“I under-performed. I realise that but I’m trying to get back into pre-season, get my form and get my fitness and confidence going and be ready for the first game of the season.

“I can’t wait for next season to start. You just can’t beat playing football. You get all the time off in the summer to do whatever you want to do but there’s no better feeling than putting your boots on and getting on to the grass and playing.

“For me and the players I’ve spoken to and the squad, the outlook in pre-season is pretty positive.”

Spurs Web Opinion:

There were many things against Doherty last season. Moving clubs, a change of position, a new manager, new teammates, no fans, COVID, the list goes on. Let’s get behind him and see what he can do this year.

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