“It was not fun..”
Ireland international Matt Doherty has revealed how Jose Mourinho’s decision to leave him on the bus, and drop him for a Spurs game during the height of Covid-19 restrictions in the UK saw him sink to his lowest moment in North London.
Just days after Spurs were dumped out of the Europa League by Dinamo Zagreb, Doherty travelled to Villa Park with his teammates, as Mourinho looked to get a reaction from his side.
But following that defeat, Doherty proved to be the fall-guy, culminating in his lowest moment at Spurs.
“I was just sat on the bus on my own..”
At the time, only players named to start, or on the bench could enter the changing room before a game, leaving Doherty, who was dropped entirely, left to stay on the team bus.
While not done in a malicious way, it did, however, see the Dubliner reach his lowest point in North London.
“I went to get off the bus and it was Covid at the time, so you weren’t allowed in the changing room if you weren’t in the squad,” he explained, as quoted by the Guardian.
? Working with Nuno.
⏪ Assessing last season.
?♂️ What to expect from 21/22 pre-season.
We sat down with Matt Doherty earlier this week ⤵️? pic.twitter.com/TvIFtjl0nc
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) July 11, 2021
“Ledley [King], who was the assistant coach, was like: ‘You’ve got to stay on the bus.’ Once the game started I was allowed to go into the stands.
“So now I was just sat on the bus on my own. Genuinely, because it was the international break straight after, I was so close to just getting in the car and going.
“I think [Republic of Ireland] were meeting in Manchester anyway. I didn’t in the end, I decided I’d stay and watch the game and then go.”
While it may have been easy for Doherty to seek an escape from Spurs after that, he did anything but.
Following a tough start to this year, the former Wolves wing-back has established himself as one of the key men in Spurs’ top-four chase.
But it could have been different had he opted to not watch the game from the stands after being on his own on the team bus.
“I’m glad I didn’t,” he added. “It’s just not professional, is it, to do that? In your head you’re sitting on the bus and thinking: ‘What’s the point in watching the game? I might as well go.’
“There were kids, and that’s no disrespect to kids, on the bench. [Mourinho] was trying to prove a point to everybody, not just for me but for the players who weren’t there either, but it was not fun.”
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