Doherty ready for hustle and bustle'

PUBLISHED: 07:45 18 July 2006 | UPDATED: 09:31 14 September 2010

Gary Doherty is looking forward to the physical side of the traditional England-Scotland rivalry when the Canaries kick-off their Scottish tour at Livingston tonight.

By CHRIS LAKEY

Gary Doherty is looking forward to the physical side of the traditional England-Scotland rivalry when the Canaries kick-off their Scottish tour at Livingston tonight.

City boss Nigel Worthington was always keen to ensure his players didn't get off lightly when pre-season turned serious - which is why he chose two matches north of the border to instil steel into his squad following the summer break.

Republic of Ireland defender Doherty could claim immunity in the traditional rivalry - but says the challenges posed by Scottiosh First Division Livingston and Saturday's opponents Falkirk, from the Premier League, should be just what the Canaries need.

“I think that is what we want at this stage,” said Doherty. “Last year we went to Holland and it was boiling hot and we were playing a totally different standard of football than we were going to get in the Championship.

“But hopefully when we get to Scotland it is going to be hustle and bustle, it is going to toughen us up and that is what we need going into the Championship season, because it's a tough league.”

Doherty has, like every other senior squad member, played 45 minutes in each of City's warm-up matches, at Fakenham last week and at Cambridge on Saturday, and says they have been valuable workouts.

“It been hard work and we've done a lot of hard running,” he said. “The Cambridge game you have to treat as another practice and get as much out of it as you can - thankfully they were decent enough opposition and gave us a good game so everyone is happy.

“I think they had a lot of triallists in there which can make it difficult for us because they are always out to impress, but that's what we wanted, better standard opposition, and it is going to get harder and harder now until the Leeds game.”

This week will see a change in Worthington's approach as he attempts to shape the team that will start against Leeds on August 5 - a team that, as yet, has not got a skipper.

Doherty has shared that duty with Adam Drury in the two warm-up games, but says he needs to raise his own on-pitch profile.

“Obviously, we have had two teams and each has to captain each half, but I think you need more than one captain on the pitch, you need a few, and it is something I have got to try and get more into my game, ordering people around,” said Doherty. “That is something I was conscious of last year and it is something I have got to try and work on this year.”

Doherty picked up the Player of the Season award but admits standards need upping all round for the new campaign.

“I think you can always criticise yourself because it was a bad season, but I think a lot of the lads have got in really good shape over the summer and this pre-season has been really hard so hopefully our fitness levels will be through the roof,” he said. “All the lads have looked after ourselves - we obviously had a couple of week off but then there was four weeks of solid gym work before we got back to pre-season so hopefully that will stand us in good stead when the season does finally start.”

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