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Antonio Conte stresses that Spurs ‘need’ Matt Doherty ahead of fixture pile-up

Antonio Conte was speaking after the game.

Spurs boss Antonio Conte has claimed that he will ‘need’ to call upon the services of Matt Doherty, as the North London outfit head into one of the most fixture-heavy periods of the season.

Doherty was brought on as a substitute in Spurs’ 3-1 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday afternoon, with the game escaping their grasp prior to the Ireland international’s introduction.

And while it has been a season to forget so far for Doherty on a personal level, Conte has at least offered him more playing time.

“We need our squad as we have many games in front of us in a short period…”

Doherty’s cameo against Arsenal was just his second Premier League appearance of the season, and his third in total. He also came on in Spurs’ Champions League win at home to Marseille. All of his appearances have come off the bench, however.

“I brought them [the subs] on because I wanted fresh legs,” Conte explained when speaking after the game to BT Sport. “I also tried to give players minutes who previously did not play with injury problems like Skippy [Oliver Skipp] and Matthew [Matt Doherty].

“Also to try and save energy because it was the first game [since the international break], and the game ended after 70 minutes.

“For this reason I wanted to give time to the players that we need to be available for the following games. For this reason I prefer to give time to players like Skipp and Doherty.

“We need our squad as we have many games in front of us in a short period.”

Matt Doherty.

During the international break, Doherty struggled for Ireland against Scotland and Armenia, but he will be hoping that he has shaken off his rustiness after a slow start to the season.

In the coming weeks, Spurs will play 12 games before the World Cup starts.

matt doherty ireland

For Doherty however, he will not be playing at the World Cup in Qatar, but he does at least have games with Ireland to look forward to in November against Norway and Armenia.

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