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Monday 20 November 2017

Doherty on hunt for run with Wolves

But Dubliner open to loan switch if games dry up

THERE were boos and catcalls for the Wolves players and manager after Wednesday's FA Cup defeat at home to local rivals Birmingham City.

Yet there was nothing but praise for their defender Matt Doherty, the young Dubliner who, despite the fact that he was making only his fifth appearance of the season, was picked out as the best thing about the night for a disappointed and disappointing home side.

Doherty, who only turned 20 this week, isn't letting the praise go to his head as he expects to drop down the pecking order for tomorrow's Premier League derby against Aston Villa, though Mick McCarthy -- under pressure after a run of nine games without a win -- could decide to reward Swords lad Doherty, who made his league debut against Liverpool in September, for his display with a runout.

"Mick didn't say much to me personally after the game, I think he was just disappointed with the performance of the team, but he seemed to have nice things to say about me in the media," Doherty told the Evening Herald today.

"I just hope I can keep it up now, I will be in the squad for Villa tomorrow, I could be on the bench and hope to get into the team maybe, hopefully my display the other night will do me some good.

"I think I played quite well in the game. I didn't have all that much to do as there wasn't all that much action. It wasn't a great game overall, there was no quality to either side. We kept losing the ball and so did Birmingham, and it was one of those games where one goal was going to win it.

"It was nice to get a run as the cups seem to be my main source of games this season. I've played five first-team games now this year but four of them were in the cups. Now that we're out of the FA Cup I don't know when my next game will be or even if I'll play again this season. I may have to go on loan," added the U19 cap.

"The Premier League is still the priority for us this season but we were all disappointed to go out of the FA Cup, especially as we lost to one of our local rivals and we really wanted to win the game.

"The fans have been patient with the manager and I really want Mick to stay. We seem to be able to grind out results and, for all the criticism we get, we still haven't been in the bottom three yet this season, so I think we'll be fine."

Doherty enjoyed a run of games earlier in the season, with four appearances in the first three months of the campaign, but chances have dried up in recent weeks and a loan spell has been mooted, with Hibernian boss Pat Fenlon -- who sold Doherty to Wolves when he was in charge of Bohs -- keen to take the defender to Scotland.

"It was on the cards that I'd go to Hibs but the gaffer here at Wolves didn't want me to go until we had this run of games out of the way," said Doherty, who joined Wolves without playing a single first-team game for Bohs.

"I have a taste for first-team football now. You can play reserve team football all you want but nothing can compare to first-team football. My agent spoke to Pat about going to Hibs and it's something that could still happen, we'll get the Villa game tomorrow out of the way and see what happens. I think playing under Pat in the SPL would be good for me, they're struggling in the league so every game is important for them, and I'd like to have that challenge," he added.

CONSECUTIVE

Wednesday was the 12th consecutive game without a goal for Ireland man Kevin Doyle, but Doherty insists the striker has not let his head drop.

"Kevin is the same in training every day. He's not off his game or off the pace in any way, he just needs a goal to get going," he added.

"If he gets one game where he tears the defence apart and scores a goal, his season will kick on, he just needs one bit of luck to reboot him."

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