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Saturday 14 December 2019

Doherty believes Keogh incident totally avoidable

Europa League: Besiktas v Wolves (Virgin Media Sp Ex 1 KO 5.55)

Matt Doherty. Photo: Action Images via Reuters
Matt Doherty. Photo: Action Images via Reuters

Matt Doherty has expressed sympathy with the plight of his Irish team-mate Richard Keogh but admitted his surprise that the Derby County captain got caught up in a completely avoidable situation.

Keogh is out of Euro 2020 and is facing up to 15 months out after sustaining a serious knee injury in a car crash after a club sanctioned night out spiralled out of control.

His team-mates Mason Bennett and Tom Lawrence have been charged for drink driving, while Keogh has been criticised for being part of a group that stayed on instead of accepting a lift home from cars that the club had laid on.

Doherty addressed Keogh's issue in a wide-ranging interview with ex-footballer Richard Sadlier on the Second Captains Podcast. He found the details of the incident shocking when compared with the culture that exists at Wolves, where he has starred at Premier League level and should feature in tonight's Europa League clash away in Turkey.

"I was surprised, and concerned to find out if he (Keogh) was all right," said Doherty. "Obviously you're sympathetic but it was a really avoidable situation and it's got very messy now.

"From a Wolves point of view, the only night out that we have as a team is the Christmas party.

"We have a lot of foreign players and a lot don't actually drink. In our squad, I would say the vast majority don't drink. I don't drink hardly ever now when I used to go out almost every weekend."

Doherty also touched on his fractious relationship with Martin O'Neill, detailing the call he received from the manager the day after he left the Ireland job. Doherty had gone on radio and spoke in unflattering terms about Ireland's tactical preparation for games; opinions that he stands over, although he regrets the timing.

The 27-year-old said: "He called me a tosser a few times and we were kinda going back and forth ... and he ended up just hanging up the phone on me."

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