Gary Doherty proud of comeback

Gary Doherty was “proud” of his performance against Leyton Orient - but knows it is his manager who decides whether his long term future remains at Carrow Road.

Gary Doherty was “proud” of his performance against Leyton Orient - but knows it is his manager who decides whether his long term future remains at Carrow Road.

The 29-year-old shrugged off a mixed reception from the home fans to make his first league appearance under Paul Lambert in the 4-0 win on Tuesday night after injuries to Michael Nelson and Jon Otsemobor forced a defensive reshuffle.

And Doherty helped City keep a clean sheet against the game Londoners, as well as going close to putting his name on the scoresheet in the first half.

The Republic of Ireland international, who played with a broken finger on Tuesday, had been training with the youth players earlier in the season but now feels back involved in the first team set up - something marked when captain Grant Holt was substituted, and the striker duly passed on the arm band to Doherty with five minutes remaining.

He said: “Of late, yes. Maybe not so much a couple of weeks ago. That is why I'm quite proud of my performance to be honest, because when you've not been playing and you have not really been training with the first team, it's quite hard to keep your sharpness.

“I was a bit tired out there towards the end but I managed to battle through and I'm happy.”

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Doherty was linked with a move to Malky Mackay's Championship side, Watford before August's transfer deadline, and although no move has materialised, the defender knows Lambert will be the one who decides how much longer his Norwich career is set to run.

Doherty said: “It isn't up to me, it's up to the manager. There have been a few things going on that fell through where it looked like I may leave, but I'm a Norwich player and I'm delighted to be back out there to be honest.

“That is where I want to be and I'm

just happy I put in a good performance.”

The City centre-back claimed the man of the match champagne at the final whistle and admits he was not about to let his own supporters' indifference affect his game.

“To be honest, I've had that before,” said Doherty. “Anyway I look at it, there are fans in that crowd that voted me one of the best players last year, so that was the only way you can look at it to give yourself a little boost. I do have my supporters, but obviously you have your detractors as well.

“That's football and when you've been somewhere for five years, that is always going to happen, especially as a defender. It doesn't really worry me if I'm being honest. I've just got to stay focused and try to play well.

“It is nice to be put back in and to come off man of the match, I'm delighted.

“It felt terrific (to be out there). It was important we won. We've had a few good results with last minute equalisers, so it was important we continued that, especially in front of our own fans and got our three points.”

Doherty was charged with looking after former Norwich star Ryan Jarvis, who now plies his trade with Orient, and the two were involved in a tasty battle for most of the game.

“We've had some great battles in training and I'm a big admirer of him,” said Doherty. “I think he's been terrific this season, so it was nice to have a little shut out against him.”

The former Tottenham man admitted he had a point to prove on Tuesday night.

He said: “You always do. Football is simple; players play and managers manage. The manager has been leaving me out and it's been going well, we've been getting a few decent results. But it was my chance tonight. A few lads have been unlucky with injuries and it was just up to me to put in a decent performance.

“I thought their keeper was outstanding. Particularly in the first half, he was making some great saves and it does worry you when teams come and defend well like they were, that you're not going to break them down.

“But then when we got the first goal, and with the sending off, it went into a bit of cruise control and in the end we finished some great chances, and that'll give us a lot of confidence on Saturday (at home to Bristol Rovers).

“All four goals were terrific, great finishes. It builds the lads' confidence and that's what you need.”

While Norwich proved playing against 10 men can be a problem, when they pulled out a late equaliser at Gillingham despite Fraser Forster's red card, this time was the exception that proved the rule for Doherty.

“I think if you jump into a tackle, if he's gone in with two feet then it has got to be a red,” he said of JJ Melligan's jump in reaction to Adam Drury's challenge.

“I haven't seen it, he seemed a bit annoyed at being sent off, but I suppose you always are.

“It did make it an awful lot easily for us, which is strange because you do hear a lot of it's always harder to play against 10 men, and I think we've punished them well with good finishing, we passed it really well and made it look easy.”