Gary Doherty ready for 200th game
Gary Doherty's re-emergence as a Norwich City first team regular will be marked with a career milestone in tomorrow's FA Cup tie at Carlisle.Provided manager Paul Lambert keeps to his current first-choice line-up for the second round match at Brunton Park (5.
Gary Doherty's re-emergence as a Norwich City first team regular will be marked with a career milestone in tomorrow's FA Cup tie at Carlisle.
Provided manager Paul Lambert keeps to his current first-choice line-up for the second round match at Brunton Park (5.15pm), defender Doherty will make his 200th senior appearance for the Canaries.
The 29-year-old centre-half's season has been turned on its head after a spell of six successive games soon after Lambert's arrival when he did not even figure on the bench.
Since his recall for the 4-0 victory over Leyton Orient on September 29 - the first of five successive home wins - Doherty has missed only one senior game, the Johnstone's Paint Trophy tie at Swindon. Now he is poised for a notable double century.
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“I thought I must be coming up to it soon but I didn't realise it was Saturday, so if I'm involved that will be a nice thing for me,” he said.
“Personal things are nice but it's all about the team. We need to just keep winning, keep our heads down and keep picking up results.”
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After Tuesday's 4-1 win over Brighton pushed City into fourth place in League One, Doherty said he felt the rest of the division were beginning to sit up and take notice.
He said: “I think people are looking at us and probably now being a bit worried because we've got on a decent run. Even the last couple of weeks when we haven't played that great we've still been picking up points and that's the main thing you have to keep doing.
“By Christmas we want to be there or thereabouts and that's something we've got to be aiming for.
“We're looking good, we're scoring a lot of goals and not really conceding many at home, so that always bodes well if you're trying to look for promotion. You need your home form to be top drawer and at the moment it is.”
Doherty's former Tottenham team-mate, Gus Poyet, was in charge of the Brighton team swept aside by City on Tuesday night. The two exchanged warm greetings after the game, in which Doherty felt the Seagulls' adventurous start may have been their undoing as goals by Grant Holt, Wes Hoolahan and Chris Martin underlined their hosts' superior firepower.
He said: “I just mentioned to Gus that going forward I thought they were one of the better teams we had played. They came here and attacked us, but then again that leaves holes for us to exploit.
“It's a double-edged sword if you're going to come here and attack, because you're going to run the risk of getting overrun, which is what happened. We cut them to pieces with some of Wes's passes, Holty's movement and Chris Martin's finishing.
“There were some terrific finishes, so fair play to the strikers at the minute. They're taking their chances and they've got to keep it going because we have some big games - Southend away next Tuesday is going to be a tough game but we're full of confidence at the minute.”
Before the visit to Roots Hall, there is the trip to Carlisle, where City won 1-0 in the League One fixture in October.
Doherty - an FA Cup semi-finalist with Tottenham in 2001 - believes the 4-3 victory at MK Dons on Tuesday will have given Greg Abbott's men a boost ahead of their rematch with the Canaries.
He said: “They've picked up a few decent results. They won at Milton Keynes so they're a decent enough team. They caused us a few problems last time and we got a very hard-earned 1-0. We'll take that again on Saturday.”