Doherty: We can tough it out now
CHRIS WISE Gary Doherty believes his side have rediscovered the mental toughness required to launch a serious challenge for a place in the Championship play-offs.
Norwich City defender Gary Doherty believes his side have rediscovered the mental toughness required to launch a serious challenge for a place in the Championship play-offs.
The Canaries have lost just one of their previous seven league matches and as a result have moved from the fringes of the relegation zone to within striking distance of a place in the top six.
Their steady progress continued at Plymouth on Saturday afternoon when they shrugged off an early deficit to come away with a well deserved point - and while Doherty wasn't getting carried away with a 1-1 draw against one of the division's lesser lights he was able to take plenty of positives from the performance.
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The Republic of Ireland international is delighted the Canaries are now picking up results away from home on a regular basis - and has now set his sights on resuming normal service at Carrow Road after the painful 3-0 home defeat against Preston North End.
“We are showing good away form now and that is very pleasing,” said Doherty as he looked ahead to Saturday's crunch encounter against fourth-placed Watford.
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“We've always had the potential to do well away from Carrow Road because the pace we have got in the team is ideal for counter-attacking.
“Now we have got a bit of steel to go with that ability and you are seeing the results out on the pitch.
“The key is to keep that going for the rest of the season, and also make sure we get back to winning ways as soon as possible at home, starting against Watford on Saturday.
“They are right up there at the moment, but it's most definitely a winnable game for us and we are looking forward to that one already.”
Not so long ago City went 22 away games without so much as a single victory. But since turning in a distinctly low-key performance to lose 2-0 at Derby on December 3 they have picked up 10 points from a possible 12 on their travels - despite going behind in three of those games.
The Canaries didn't manage a comeback victory at the weekend - but Doherty was still satisfied with the outcome, after seeing his side fall behind to a scrappy goal which was eventually credited to Argyle striker Nick Chadwick.
“You always want to win games but bearing in mind the way the game panned out a draw was a reasonable result,” he said. “Having gone 1-0 down we showed great spirit on an energy-sapping pitch to get back into it. We let in a very unfortunate goal but we didn't feel sorry for ourselves. We just kept plugging away and got what we deserved in the end.”