Matt Doherty is no stranger to fighting for a position.
In recent years at Wolverhampton Wanderers, Matt Doherty had little competition for the right wing-back role but there has been much debate about whether he or Seamus Coleman should start for the Republic of Ireland.
For the first time in some while, Doherty now finds himself in a similar situation at club level as Tottenham Hotspur teammate Serge Aurier has risen to the challenge posed by the Irishman’s move to North London.
Spurs manager Jose Mourinho has gone back and forth with Doherty and Aurier in recent months, with the former playing four more games than Aurier so far this season.
Speaking of his competition with Aurier, Doherty said: “I love it here. I came here in the summer and we’re fighting it out, driving each other on, whether he plays or I play, we’ve pretty much played half and half this season, so we try to get the best out of each other, and any competition is going to improve the team.
“You want to play as many games as possible, you want to stay sharp, and there is nothing like game fitness. Fortunately, people who haven’t played one game have managed to play the midweek game, so everyone is fresh enough. I guess whatever the team is, we’re all in pretty good nick.”
Since the end of the last international break, Doherty has been utilised in the Europa League while Aurier has been Mourinho’s pick for Premier League games.
With Doherty relishing the ongoing competition, the feeling from Aurier’s end is most definitely mutual.
“For me it’s a good challenge because he is a good guy,” Aurier said of Doherty.
“He did very well when he played for Wolves and I like him because we play in the same position and when he signed, of course it was a big challenge for me.
“The manager makes the choice but I’m happy for the team first.”