Doherty firing Wolves up for Premier push

by Stephen Findlater

Swords man Matt Doherty is hoping to translate his superb form with Wolves into a maiden Republic of Ireland international cap following his inclusion in Martin O’Neill’s squad to take on Turkey this weekend.

He has previously been called into the Irish squad for matches against Slovakia and Switzerland but has yet to get pitch time in green since lining out for the Republic’s Under-21s.

The Dubliner is one of eight uncapped players in O’Neill’s panel as they look to stake their claim to be included in his selection on an ongoing basis for the upcoming 2020 Euros qualification campaign.

Doherty has been a central figure in the midlands side’s run to the top of the Championship, holding a six-point lead over Cardiff City and holding a 13-point buffer to Fulham in third place, meaning Wolves need four wins from their remaining eight games to assure promotion to the Premier League.

The 26-year-old full-back was on the mark twice in midweek in a 3-0 cruise against Reading and they followed up with a 3-1 victory over Burton Albion.

The goals brought his season tally to four and he joked that you would have to go a long way back to find the last time he scored twice in the one game. He has been with the club since 2010 when he was signed for £75,000 for Bohemians and has since signed a new contract with the club that will run until 2021.

“When I was about nine probably! When I used to be a striker. It’s been a long time. Ireland Under-21s maybe, I played midfield and scored twice against the Faroe Islands – that counts doesn’t it?”

As for Wolves promotion prospects, it looks like a matter of when, not it, they will move back into the big time but Doherty is not surprised at how well the side have gone.

“I’ve been saying it from about the third game of the season to be honest,” he told the Express and Star.

“I think we played Derby or Hull, played really well, and I said ‘Lads, I fancy us to go all the way’.

“I haven’t been wrong yet – we just need to keep going in the next few games and really seal it.

“Teams have done a lot of talking but at the end of the day we’re 10 points clear of third so we’ve done our talking on the pitch,” he added.

The win over Reading followed a loss to arch rivals Aston Villa but Doherty said that the belief was not shaken.

“There’s been no panic in our changing room at all.

“Even before the Reading game started, it was seven (points) and with a decent goal difference that’s still a handy lead with fixtures coming up.

“I firmly back us to go ahead and do it.”

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