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Matt Doherty addresses ongoing “battle” with Seamus Coleman

Matt Doherty and Seamus Coleman

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Matt Doherty believes it’s a 50/50 call on who will play at right-back in the upcoming Republic of Ireland fixtures.

Responding to Seamus Coleman’s impressive form since the start of the season, Matt Doherty has admitted that he may need to up his performances to be in with a chance of continuing his run in the Ireland team.

Doherty was speaking to the media ahead of Spurs’ Europa League clash with Maccabi Haifa on Thursday night, when he was asked about whether his move to Tottenham will affect his opportunities for Stephen Kenny’s Ireland side.

“I’ve settled in really well, I absolutely love it here,” Doherty said. “I’ve been down here about a month now and I couldn’t be happier with the move that I’ve made. Things are going pretty well.

Matt Doherty

“On the international front, I’ve played the last few games. It’s always going to be a constant battle between me and Seamus, and that’s fine. Whoever plays, we have the full support of each other. Obviously we’d both like to play and we feel like can play – in some way – together, but that’s not not really up to us. That’s up to the manager.

“I don’t think being at a bigger club than Wolves will necessarily guarantee me to play. He’s the captain at the end of the day, we all know the credentials that he has and we know how good and consistent he has been in the Premier League and for Ireland over the last eight or nine years.

Seamus Coleman

“It’s probably a 50/50 of who plays. I know he’s in pretty good form at the moment so I might have to up my game over the next couple of days.”

Despite the fact that Jose Mourinho recently almost stormed on to the pitch to demand more from Doherty, the Irish defender insists the pair have a good relationship.

Matt Doherty

Doherty also revealed that he was pleasantly surprised by how funny Mourinho can be because the Portuguese comes across differently in interviews.

“From the outside, you just see the interviews, you see him in the media and on the sidelines,” Doherty explained.

“But you don’t know him, and you don’t realise the sense of humour that he has, the bond that he has with his players.

“In terms of that, I was pleasantly surprised. Before I had even signed, I had a little bit of contact with him and his sense of humour was very good, he can have a joke with you.

“He made me feel incredibly welcome as I was signing. So there’s a lot of different things, and obviously the stuff he does on the training pitch is exceptional.

“It’s great for me to be able to learn from him and find out what he thinks I need to do to improve my game and play under him. It’s been a pleasure.”

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