Promotion dream dies for Doherty

CHRIS LAKEY Canaries defender Gary Doherty admitted the play-offs had still been on his mind as City stepped out at Layer Road on Saturday - only to see the dream destroyed over the next 90 minutes of football.

CHRIS LAKEY

By CHRIS LAKEY

Canaries defender Gary Doherty admitted the play-offs had still been on his mind as City stepped out at Layer Road on Saturday - only to see the dream destroyed over the next 90 minutes of football.

City went into the game at Colchester on the back of successive 1-0 wins over Birmingham and Stoke, and Doherty admitted they had reignited his hopes of a final attempt at promotion.


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“I still did harbour play-off beliefs, to be honest,” he said. “Before the game I thought the way we had been playing we had got it in us to go eight from eight.

“But I don't know why because we were dreadful today in the second half and now it's just about putting in good performances until the end of the season, trying to win as many games as we can, finish as high as we can and try and get a bit of a boost for next season.”

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Doherty and goalkeeper Tony Warner were the two players singled out by manager Peter Grant as exempt from criticism, although the Republic of Ireland international greeted that particular comment with a shrug of the shoulders which clearly indicated his belief in collective responsibility.

“It was embarrassing,” he said. “We weren't at the races. We had a few chances first half, but second half we were dreadful. From back to front none of us played anywhere near what we can do and that is disappointing - and I am not sure why to be honest, because we have been in good form. We can have no excuses, we all have to look at each other, at ourselves in particular, and try and put it right.”

City had ended the first half on a relative high, launching a series of attacks which failed to yield any reward - but the assumption that it was a platform to build on proved incorrect.

“That's what we all thought, we thought we'd come out and put the pressure on and go down the hill and try and steal a goal, but it wasn't to be,” said Doherty. “They got quite an early goal which put a lot of pressure on us and we never really created anything or got anything going in the final third, which is disappointing and something we have got to look at.”

Layer Road may have been bathed in sunshine, but it was an ill wind which blew, although Doherty refused to make an excuse out of the conditions.

“It's the same for both teams,” he said. “The pitch was a bit dry - I don't know if they did it on purpose but it was very dry and with the players we have they like to dribble a bit and it was tough for them. But we have no excuses, we were hopeless today in the second half and we have got to get it right.”

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