Doherty set to stay at Norwich

Paddy Davitt Norwich City defender Gary Doherty yesterday pledged to stay and fight for his City career.The Irishman publicly admitted last month that he was surplus to requirements after being frozen out of Paul Lambert's League One squad.

Paddy Davitt

Norwich City defender Gary Doherty yesterday pledged to stay and fight for his City career.

The Irishman publicly admitted last month that he was surplus to requirements after being frozen out of Paul Lambert's League One squad.

But Doherty has now featured in four consecutive wins following a heart-to-heart with the Canaries' boss - and the 29-year-old insists he wants to play a full part in the club's promotion push.


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“We sat down and he said I wasn't really in his plans,” said Doherty, speaking at the launch of King's Lynn's annual Santa Run in aid of East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH).

“He told me he was going with other players which was fair enough, that is what managers do, but then with all the injuries we've got he just asked me in and said, 'Where is your head at? I need you to play.' Obviously from my point of view I want to play. I want to be part of something that he is building and I think we are looking strong and I want to be a part of that because it looks like we might have some success.

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“I'd love to get us back in the Championship and I think we have the squad to do it and confidence is high.”

Doherty had been ready to call time on his five-year Carrow Road career after being relegated to City's second string in recent weeks.

“I think I was pretty much out of the door a month ago or even less,” he said.

“Football can change so quickly. You get injuries or other things off the field and on the field that can turn it around.

“Luckily I came back in and I've done all right and taken my chance and now I want to stay in.

“I'm enjoying it and its going well. It helps that the team is winning and now we've gone four on the bounce there is a great feeling around the club. We believe we have a good squad here and it will be interesting in the forthcoming weeks to see how we perform.”

Doherty warns Norwich's pending trip to unbeaten leaders Leeds on Monday is a huge test of the club's promotion credentials.

“Going to Elland Road is probably the toughest one of the season but its one we are looking forward to,” he said. “The gaffer has had to throw young lads in and they have responded terrifically. They've pulled up trees and they are only going to get better. Maybe some people are surprised, given the amount of injuries, that we have lost only one in nine but it's a great run. I think it is important we get in the play-offs at this stage of the season and then around Christmas time we can be in and around the top two and push on again. You look at the likes of Charlton, who have drawn a few games of late, which maybe gives us a little window but Leeds is a real tough one.”

Doherty was part of a club delegation in King's Lynn to support the annual Santa Run series. The King's Lynn 2km event takes place on Sunday December 6 (11am) in aid of the EACH charity which provides funds, care and support for life-threatened children and families in their own homes or at the charity's three hospices.

“I've been to the hospice a couple of times and it's good to come along and support their charity run,” said Doherty. “It's important that the club gets involved with local charities and support what is happening in the community. Unfortunately Christmas is a bit of a non event for footballers. We usually play the following day. You might have a meal on Christmas Day at the club, but you can't really celebrate.”

Karen Chesney, EACH events fundraiser, said: “Santa Runs are a great way to have fun and raise vital funds for EACH, and we hope as many people as possible sign up for the event. It's great to know we have the support of Norwich City football club to encourage people to sign up for what will be a fun and worthwhile event.”

t For further information on the King's Lynn Santa Run on December 6, sponsored by the Vancouver Quarter, or similar events planned across East Anglia visit each.org.uk where you can also enter online. Race fees: adult �10 and children (aged under 13) �5.

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