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Doc: Wolves must better seventh heaven next time

Matt Doherty insists Wolves must be looking to match then better this season’s achievements next campaign.

Wolves have already secured their highest place since 1979-80 when they were sixth and they will confirm their current position of seventh if Leicester fail to beat Manchester City tomorrow night.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side have also amassed the most points in a season (57) by a promoted side since Ipswich in 2000-01.

Doherty believes they have surpassed last season’s achievement when they won the Championship, but he is already looking to better what they have done this term.

Yes I think so, because the standard is a lot higher and the quality is a lot better,” he said. “I think we have actually improved from the way we played last season.

I guess we have to try to match this and then better it. That will probably be the aim for everybody in pre-season.

We are better this season. So yes, last season was an unbelievable achievement, getting 99 points. Hopefully Manchester City can do us a favour and Leicester slip up so we can finish seventh and give ourselves a chance of getting into Europe.”

Many who saw Wolves last season thought they would fare well in the Premier League. Doherty revealed the feeling in the dressing room was always that they could excel at the higher level.

We definitely thought we could live with the best,” he said. “A lot of people might have been surprised, but I don’t think there’s much surprise within the squad and the staff to be honest.

We thought the way we played last season would be good for us going into the Premier League and it’s proved that way this season. We have just got to make sure it’s the same next season.”

Doherty supplied the cross for Leander Dendoncker to score the only goal to beat Fulham on Saturday. It was his eighth assist of the season, while he has also chipped in with a career best eight goals in all competitions.

The Ireland international admits he didn’t expect this season to go as well as it has done from a personal point of view, but he is delighted with his contribution.

No probably not, but I think it’s something along those lines,” he added. “But I didn’t know how we would cope and the level of football we would end up playing.

If you were to ask me for next season, I would probably know from what we have done this season. But it’s always nice to contribute.

I’m really happy. For me it’s the best and the hardest league in the world and I grew dreaming of playing in the Premier League. To play almost every game this season and to contribute the way I have, although some of it has been in the FA Cup, it’s still for Wolves, so I’m over the moon.”

Wolves ended the season unbeaten in 11 home games, including nine wins, with the team unbeaten at Molineux since January.

And after a season where they have had 30,000-plus crowds at every home League game for the first time since 1949-50, Doherty reckons they have made it a tough place to come.

I didn’t realise that – I think ‘Coads’ (captain Conor Coady) mentioned it before the game,” he said. “Your home form is vitally important and you need to make it as much of a fortress as possible and we’re clearly very strong here.

We have one more game to go and we have to respect what’s happening at the top of the league and prepare properly and we’re going to Liverpool to try to win.”

Wolves have been criticised for their struggles against the bottom six teams but their form against the top six has been excellent. Doherty says they are unconcerned about their results against the lower-placed teams.

To be honest, not really, because of the position we’re in. I guess if we were to miss out and finish a bit lower in the league then you’d think it was a missed opportunity,” he said.

We have been good enough to pick up the points elsewhere – this is the best league in the world and not everything is going to go your way.

But we have managed to pick up 57 points this season and we want to keep going.”