Doherty is relishing his chance to lead Canaries
Chris Lakey Gary Doherty has been handed the captain's armband by manager Bryan Gunn - and this time he wants a fresh start at the job. The central defender was made skipper at the end of February, succeeding the out-of-favour Mark Fotheringham, but the season ended in the ignominy of leading out a side which was to eventually succumb to relegation from the Championship.
Gary Doherty has been handed the captain's armband by manager Bryan Gunn - and this time he wants a fresh start at the job. The central defender was made skipper at the end of February, succeeding the out-of-favour Mark Fotheringham, but the season ended in the ignominy of leading out a side which was to eventually succumb to relegation from the Championship.
City are now among the pre-season favourites - and the man the fans have dubbed “Ginger Pele” is looking forward to proving the bookies right.
“Last season was difficult, we were on a downer,” said Doherty, City's second longest serving current player after Adam Druryn having joined from Spurs five years ago. “I think I got it February time and it was always hard to do it mid-season. I can get a fresh start at it this time and hopefully do it properly and get a good result.”
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Gunn made his mind up following last week, when City were on tour in Scotland, with the vice-captaincy being shared by two new signings, central defender Michael Nelson and midfielder Matt Gill.
“I am delighted the Doc has shown the form this season that showed me his appetite is for Norwich City,” said Gunn.
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“He has got good leadership qualities and obviously during the season we will need those leadership qualities, but I mention the other two guys as well - they have great leadership qualities and that is something we need all over the pitch. Certainly with the new signings that we have made that is one of the attributes that a lot of them have and hopefully there won't be just the one leader on the pitch, there will be many leaders and hopefully that will help us through.”
Doherty started Saturday's game against a Manchester United XI wearing the armband, swapping with his replacement, Nelson, at half-time - but admitted after the game that he targeted the job.
“I am delighted with it,” he said. “It was something I was looking for at the start of the season and I'm just delighted the gaffer has given it to me. I think it ups my game as well so I'm hoping that's going to be a positive thing for my personal performances when the season starts.
“I think it brings you out of your shell a bit. It can bring your game on, you want to be more dominant on the pitch and I think that is something I am definitely trying to do. It's something I have probably lacked over my career, so that is something I have tried to bring on in my personal game and hopefully being captain will do that.”
Part of his job will be helping the new signings to settle in - and not just for a few months.
“I have mentioned before that all these are permanent signings so they are obviously pushing to try and get in the team and they have signed long-term contract which is always good,” he said. “They are dedicated to Norwich and that's what we need. It can only bode well. We have a lot of players now and we have good competition for places.”