Doherty hails defensive change

JONATHAN REDHEAD Gary Doherty said he was “over the moon” with a second clean sheet of the campaign on Saturday. And the Irishman said all the side needed for the complete away display was a goal or two.


Norwich City centre back Gary Doherty said he was “over the moon” with a second clean sheet of the campaign on Saturday.

And the Irishman said all the side needed for the complete away display was a goal or two.

Doherty and central defensive partner Jason Shackell were given the task of marking Steve Howard, a target for the Canaries until he moved to Pride Park from Luton for £1m last month.

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Apart from one header against the bar in the first half, Doherty and Shackell reduced the striker and the rest of the Derby side to long range shots at Paul Gallacher's goal.

He was pleased to leave the east Midlands with a point although he could have earned the Canaries all three had his second minute header from a Darren Huckerby corner not been ruled out for pushing.

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“We're obviously over the moon with the clean sheet, we didn't get many last year and we've got two out of four this year so we're happy with that,” he said. “I think in the second half we needed a goal really.

“We've put on a lot of pressure and that's when you've really got to take your chances and nick the three points but it wasn't to be today. We're happy enough with a point I think.”

Doherty put this season's improvement in away performances down to a change in the way the side defends set pieces, but also admitted that city were fast becoming a second half team.

“I think we've changed a lot in our set pieces,” he said. “We're more of a zonal team now, as we've got areas instead of having players and that's working really well for us.

“I think its eight games now we've gone where I don't think we've conceded from a set piece except the penalty at Leeds.

“That's obviously pleasing and something we work hard on training. It's starting to pay dividends in games.”

“Attacking wise we're more of a second half team. We're haven't really put it together in the first half, although I suppose at Leeds we were decent enough in the first half.

As a defence we've just got to stay strong in the first half and then allow our fitness and our flair players to come into the game second half and that's when we need to nick the points.”

“The defence has looked quite solid and the midfield has given us a lot of support they're very fit lads the three of them so that's good. Once the goals start getting added then we'll start climbing.”

The centre back said he also hoped the Leon McKenzie situation could get sorted soon - with the former Peterborough striker remaining at Carrow Road.

“Obviously Leon's a very popular lad and a really good player so the club are going to try and keep him and that's the situation we're at the minute I think,” he said. “It's up to the club and it's up to the player and the agent and the other club to get something sorted, but I think the gaffer's mentioned we'll be over the moon if he stays.

“Leon's a top, top player and we need top players at this club. We'll have to see how the situation unfolds.”

With a long trip to Torquay due for Wednesday's Carling Cup game, Doherty said City is keen for a good cup run.

“We're looking forward to it,” he said. “It is a long trip but we fly down there Tuesday to prepare properly.

“We want a good little cup run. We've not really done to well in the cup so it'd be nice as it keeps our confidence high. If we go there and get a good result we'll all be happy.”

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