Doc ready for Ade
PUBLISHED: 13:28 15 March 2006 | UPDATED: 09:17 14 September 2010
Gary Doherty was today relishing the prospect of locking horns again with one of the Coca-Cola Championship's hottest strikers in Ade Akinbiyi when Sheffield United visit Carrow Road on Saturday.
Norwich City's Gary Doherty was today relishing the prospect of locking horns again with one of the Coca-Cola Championship's hottest strikers in Ade Akinbiyi when Sheffield United visit Carrow Road on Saturday.
The pair have come face to face already this season in Norwich's 2-1 home win over Burnley back in December, prior to ex-Canary Akinbiyi's £1.75 million move from the Clarets to the Blades.
Doherty certainly got one over his man in that game, keeping the big front man unusually quiet, but he knows that Akinbiyi, whose transfer fees now total £14.5m and who is the joint third highest goal scorer in the league with 15 behind Cardiff's Cameron Jerome (16) and Watford's Marlon King (18), will out to make amends this time round.
“I'm looking forward to it,” said the 26-year-old centre-back, who received his fifth yellow card of the season against Leeds at the weekend but, because of the yellow card amnesty, which started on March 1, gets a warning rather than suspension.
“We've lost just one in six games and that's not bad form. We played well at Leeds and were unlucky not to get a better result.
“It's a big game at home and it should be a good game. I'm up for the physical challenge, there's no doubt about that. He's one of the top scorers in the division and you always like to test yourself against good players,” he added.
Akinibiyi's transfer fees have totalled nearly £15m in less than 10 years - and Doherty knows why.
“The physical side of his game is a big thing, but there's much more to him than that. His movement is good off the ball and he works very hard. There are reasons why he's moved for so much money in the past and it's not just because he's a big lad.
“He's not the only one that we have got to worry about as they have some very good players, but we'll train hard this week and we'll be ready come the weekend.”
The tension is sure to ratchet up a few notches between now and then as Neil Warnock, the man everyone loves to hate, prepares to bring his stuttering promotion contenders to face the Canaries.
Doherty is keen capitalise on United's poor run of form and admits it would be nice to do the double over the high-flying Blades and put another dent in their promotion hopes.
“United are a team that look to be stumbling again and it would be nice to put more pressure on them,” said Doherty. “Clearly it's better to be playing a team who are not doing so well but they are not a bad team at all as their league position shows.
“There's no doubt that it will be a tough game, but it would be nice to do the double over them.”