Doherty sets his sights on Charlton
Chris Lakey Gary Doherty says City's sights are now locked firmly on Charlton Athletic as they aim to secure one of the prized automatic promotion spots in League One next May. The Canaries have already clambered over the likes of MK Dons, Huddersfield and Colchester to reach third place in the table.
Gary Doherty says City's sights are now locked firmly on Charlton Athletic as they aim to secure one of the prized automatic promotion spots in League One next May.
The Canaries have already clambered over the likes of MK Dons, Huddersfield and Colchester to reach third place in the table.
Leaders Leeds dropped points after a 2-2 home draw with Huddersfield, but still lead Charlton by four - with Norwich another four behind and increasing the pressure every week and they seek to avoid the lottery of the play-offs by stealing a march on their biggest rivals.
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"Automatic promotion has got to be the target now," said Doherty. "We really have to push on. We have done great to get ourselves in this position, but we are just trying to put pressure on Charlton now.
"Although Leeds slipped up a little bit by drawing at home, it will be a tall order to catch them, and we just have to keep going.
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"We've been pegging teams back and the next team we have to peg back are Charlton. They have got to be the target because they're the next team up from us and hopefully they will be feeling a bit of pressure, looking over their shoulders and seeing that we keep winning and maybe they will stumble as well."
On current form, Leeds and Norwich remain strongest of the top six over the last half a dozen games, in which they have both dropped just a point each, while Charlton appear to have overcome an inconsistent patch with three wins on the run. Swindon have won four in a row, but Huddersfield and Colchester have dropped points, while maintaining their top six places.
City's run of form has led them to dizzy heights, but while manager Paul Lambert has suffered just half of City's four league defeats, there's a theme in there which Doherty dislikes, but which he hopes will be corrected in the new year.
"I think maybe the disappointing thing is that we haven't taken points off the top teams," he said. "We were disappointed at Leeds, we were unfortunate at MK Dons, and at home to Colchester obviously, so they are the ones that have been the disappointing results.
"January is about keeping our top players and if we can do that and keep everyone fit and healthy then I'm sure we can have a good crack at promotion."
City have won their last six home games - a far cry from recent years when Fortress Carrow Road has collapsed around their ears - but Doherty welcomes the pressure that goes hand in hand with success.
"The expectation comes with the crowd," he said. "We are a big club, we are going into every game now expecting to win and that can be a different sort of pressure, but it can also be a good sort of pressure, where teams are scared to come here."
I can remember last year teams were enjoying coming here and passing us apart, but I don't think teams do that any more, and that is down to our hard work and we have to keep that going.
"We have had a few teams come here and try and shut up shop and we have beaten them. Then we have had teams like Brighton who have come and tried to attack us, but we have managed to turn them over as well. We are in terrific form, particularly at home, we look very strong and we have picked up a few away points as well, which we have to keep doing."