Menu Close

Wolves man Matt Doherty opens up on his future

Long-serving Matt Doherty insists his future lies at Wolves.

The Ireland international, currently preparing for Euro 2020 Group D qualifiers against Denmark and Gibraltar on Friday and Monday respectively, was recently told he could flourish at a top-six club by former England and Tottenham winger Chris Waddle.

Doherty, who recently played his 250th game for Wolves, only signed a new contract in February keeping him at Molineux until 2023, which would extend his stay at Wolves to 13 years.

Asked at an Ireland press conference if he is staying put, the 27-year-old said: “Yes, yes, definitely. We’ve just got a great set-up there at the moment – great players, great backroom staff, great manager.

We finished seventh this year and next year, we’ll definitely be looking to improve on that position. It’s going to be difficult, but I don’t see any reason for me to change anything right now. My future is definitely at Wolves.”

When asked if Doherty could play for a top-six club, Waddle told The Football Faithful: ”Yeah definitely. To be honest though I’ve never really seen him play as a full back, I’ve watched him a lot as a wing back and he does that job brilliantly. I’m sure he’d be able to play right-back in four.

If he goes to a Man City or a Liverpool he’ll be playing as a right back, even though they do get forward a lot. It would be interesting to see him play in a four, I’ve never really seen him play in four.

A lot of teams play with a four. Yeah, some teams juggle the odd game and think ‘we’re playing a better team, we’re going to play three at the back’. But Wolves play that three all the time so he’s been allowed to get the best out of him. The manager thinks ‘I want him to get to that far post, I want him to get in their half, he can deliver, he can score a goal.’”

Doherty helped Wolves to seventh spot in the Premier League and the FA Cup semi-final to make it their best season since 1979-80 when they were sixth.

The former Bohemians full back admits his one big regret at the club season just gone.

The only bad thing you can say is we probably should have beaten Watford in the (FA Cup) semi-final,” he said.

That’s probably the one regret of the season. Other than that, for me personally everything has come off, and for the team everything is going well.

Great memories. It’s been a great season for Wolves and for me personally.

We managed to get ourselves into Europa League qualification, which wasn’t necessarily the goal at the start of the season, but we will take that and try to push on in that competition. So no complaints.”

Turning to the forthcoming internationals, Doherty and Seamus Coleman are vying for the right-back spot in Mick McCarthy’s side.

The Wolves man came off worse the last time they were paired up, taken off after just 55 minutes after playing right midfield against Gibraltar, with Coleman at right back. Doherty was dropped for the next game, against Georgia.

McCarthy has vowed not to play them in the same team. But Doherty insists he and the Everton defender can play in the same side together.

I mean, I don’t know. Me and Seamus have spoken about it, what we thought at the time. We didn’t think we were that bad actually,” he added.

Not much came off in that game for anybody really, it was just one of those games. “I think we believe we can play in the same team, that we can work together, but that’s not our choice.

We will have to wait and see when the team gets announced who plays.”

Doherty insists his substitution – and his subsequent axeing for the following game – hasn’t affected him.

It was fine, he just said what he was going with,” he said. “I didn’t necessarily have a problem, I could half see it coming after the (Gibraltar) game.

But it’s never a good thing when you are getting taken off after 55 minutes – you know you are probably going to be in trouble for the next game. It was nothing new to me.

He (McCarthy) knows I can play in a number of different positions, but in training I’m playing right back. So, I guess I’ll just have to bide my time and see how it goes.

Like I said, whoever plays will do a great job. Right now it’s not me, so I’m going to have to just wait for my chance.”

Doherty admits there are different responsibilities playing right back as opposed to wing back. But he insists he is comfortable playing a role he has occupied throughout his professional career until the last two years.

Yeah there is a lot more defensive responsibility. It will be different, but I have played right back my whole life really,” he added.

The kind of wing back role has only been in the last two years, so I still know how to play the conventional back four, I can play on the right side of that. So that wouldn’t be a problem for me.

The team has not been named yet, so in my head I will still train and before the team is named, I will still prepare as if I am playing.

If I’m not, I will still do the same, because I might have to come on after five or 10 minutes, who knows what can happen? So look, if I don’t play, I will support Seamus, and if I do play, I will try to do my best.”