Doherty leads way in EDP ratings table

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:10 14 September 2010

In-form Gary Doherty is leading the race to win this year's EDP Norwich City player of the season award. The big centre half has been outstanding in the heart of City's defence since winning his place back in the side in mid-September, turning in a string of top quality performances to catch the eye of our 'judges', football writers Chris Lakey and Chris Wise.

In-form Gary Doherty is leading the race to win this year's EDP Norwich City player of the season award.

The big centre half has been outstanding in the heart of City's defence since winning his place back in the side in mid-September, turning in a string of top quality performances to catch the eye of our 'judges', football writers Chris Lakey and Chris Wise.

They give marks out of 10 to the Norwich players after every game - and Doherty is the top Canary at present with an impressive average of nearly seven.

He was struggling near the foot of our table early on after a distinctly low-key start to the season. But in recent months he has been the model of consistently, picking up sevens and eights on a regular basis to overtake early pace-setter Youssef Safri, whose cause hasn't been helped by a lack of games in recent weeks.

The Moroccan midfielder, who has been in action for his country in the African Cup of Nations this month, currently holds second position on 6.91, but remains well placed to challenge Doherty for the title when he returns to the club duty.

The top three is completed by Darren Huckerby, who is going for a hat-trick this year after winning the first two EDP awards. The flying frontman's average is down on previous campaigns but a respectable figure of 6.60 leaves with him in touch with the leaders - and if can turn on the style between now and May he could yet put the top two under pressure.

Club captain Craig Fleming has moved steadily up the table thanks to a string of solid performances alongside Doherty and is now in fourth position on 6.48 while Dean Ashton leaves Norwich in fifth place after averaging a respectable 6.40 in his 30 games for the club, a figure helped by one of just two nines awarded all season.

That came in the 3-1 victory over Southampton, when the £7.25m striker scored a brilliant hat-trick against Southampton. The other nine went to on-loan defender Calum Davenport for his imperious performance at Ipswich in September in what was his first full game for the club.

Bringing up the rear in the table is recent signing Dickson Etuhu who is averaging just 5.48 at present after a quiet start to his Carrow Road career. But the muscular midfielder still has 16 games to improve his position and it would be a surprise if he didn't get his figure up above the six mark - which denotes an average performance - before the end of the season.

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