Matt Doherty believes he is turning the corner and finding his form with Tottenham Hotspur after a difficult start to life under Jose Mourinho.
As recently as last month, it had been suggested that Matt Doherty’s days at Spurs were numbered and some began encouraging the Irishman to find a new club but Doherty has since battled back and seems to have rediscovered his confidence.
After Sunday’s win over Crystal Palace, Mourinho praised Doherty for his “impeccable” performance and the 29-year-old also impressed against Fulham three days earlier.
With Serge Aurier still struggling with fitness, Doherty has been entrusted to start Spurs’ last two games and he hopes to extend his purple patch as the business end of the season approaches.
In a refreshingly honest interview in the weekend’s programme, Doherty opened up on the difficulties he’s experienced since his move from Molineux last August.
“I love being here. I have really enjoyed my time here but, personally, it’s not been a great season for me so far,” Doherty said, via Football London.
— Matt Doherty (@mattdoherty20) March 8, 2021
“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.”
Much has been made of Doherty being played by Mourinho in a more defensive position to which he was accustomed in recent years but the Republic of Ireland international has dismissed that as a reason for his struggles this season.
Doherty reminded fans that he often plays as a right-back rather than a right wing-back for Ireland and he is determined to adapt to his new responsibilities with Spurs.
Doherty continued: “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.
“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.”