Doherty impressed by fighting spirit

Chris Lakey Gary Doherty was, for a few moments, credited with City's second equaliser on Saturday - but the centre half was more than happy for Stephen Hughes to take the praise for earning a point.

Chris Lakey

Gary Doherty was, for a few moments, credited with City's second equaliser on Saturday - but the centre half was more than happy for Stephen Hughes to take the praise for earning a point.

The case of mistaken identity by the PA man raised a smile on Doherty's face in the face of driving rain at St Mary's - before he joined the plaudits for the Scottish midfielder, who was following up after keeper Kelvin Davis spilled Chris Martin's shot.

"I couldn't have been further away from it to be honest," said Doherty. "That made me smile when I heard that, but it was Hughesy. Fair play, he was brave as a lion, he got in there and he's nicked us a point. I am certainly not claiming it.


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"Hughesy did great - he showed great bravery and great awareness to follow in. You know Chrissy's got a good strike and he knew with the sort of pitch it was so slick that it might come off the keeper and fair play to him, he got in there where it hurts and it's a great goal for us."

Doherty is convinced the manner of City's performance, with two successful attempts at hauling back Southampton's lead, bodes well for the future.

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"It can get all the lads rallied together because you know you've got that in your locker," he said. "You're never down and out really.

"That can be a great confidence booster going into the next game knowing that if you do go a goal down that you still have it in the locker to pull it back, especially going two goals down in the same game.

"It's difficult to go to 1-0 and 2-1, but to come back and get a point we are quite happy with that."

Doherty put up solid resistance to keep Saints at bay in the first half, before City then showed their true colours and although neither side could quite manage to get a winner, the Irishman believes City were denied by the match official, Andy Penn, who turned down Chris Martin's second penalty appeal after he appeared to be bundled over by Neal Trotman and when he penalised Grant Holt just before he headed home with the score at 1-1.

"They were decent first half, without getting any really clear-cut chances," he said. "In fairness they have scored two terrific goals, David (Connolly) has put one in, and I thought their first goal was terrific as well, a great finish, so they have got two goals and that is obviously disappointing.

"But we hung in there and we showed great spirit and I thought to be honest we should have had a stonewall penalty as well.

"And I still think Holt's goal as well was a goal, I don't see where he saw a foul there - so a few decisions went against us but all in all it is a tough place to come and it's a good point."

What wasn't in dispute was the quality of the game.

"It was terrific, it was really end to end," said Doherty. "They've been on a great run. Obviously they had lost their last game, but they've been on a good run, we've been on one as well so it was two in-form teams. It was a good game and probably a fair result.

"They are probably in a false position because they had a bad start and they had the 10-point deduction.

"They've paid a lot of money out as well on players with the likes of Dean Hammond and Rickie Lambert, and the lad Adam Lallana on the wing is good as well. They're a decent team so it's a tough place to come.

"We just have to keep clawing teams back. Obviously the start we had we made it hard for ourselves, but we just need to keep picking up results. We are on a great run, confidence is high and we have got to keep this going as long as we can."

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