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Antonio Conte Issues Brutal Assessment Of Matt Doherty

Antonio Conte Issues Brutal Assessment Of Matt Doherty
By Eoin Harrington
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Matt Doherty may not be feeling quite so hopeful about his chances of a long term run in the Spurs team, after recent comments from his manager Antonio Conte.

Conte spoke to the media ahead of Spurs' Champions League clash with Eintracht Frankfurt, and was asked about the selection dilemma at right back after Emerson Royal's needless red card against Arsenal on Saturday.

Matt Doherty and youngster Djed Spence are the contenders to fill in for Emerson - but Conte's comments made it brutally clear what he thinks of Doherty's current form.

"I'm not stupid" - Antonio Conte on selecting Matt Doherty

Saturday's North London derby saw a foolish red card for Emerson Royal, after the Brazilian flew in with a studs up challenge on Gabriel Martinelli.

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The challenge leaves a gap at right back in the Spurs team - one which Matt Doherty would appear primed to claim.

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Spurs manager Antonio Conte, however, issued a pretty scathing assessment of Doherty, saying he was not "stupid" and did not think the Irishman was part of his "best" team:

The fans are the fans. I understand they can think everything but I see every day what happens during the training session.

I try to do the best for the team. If they trust me, then they trust me - but the choices are mine. If I didn't decide to pick one player it's maybe because he's not ready. We are talking about a young player with a good prospect, but I repeat I try to pick the best team.

Also Doherty last season played every game. Now I'm not seeing him in the right way to start the game. I'm not stupid, I don't want to lose. I try to put the best team, to pick the best team.

It's a harsh comment, and a surprising one given how well Doherty fared under Conte during last season's strong mid-season run of form for Spurs.

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He earned high praise from Conte at that time, before an injury curtailed his season early.

The Dubliner has struggled for game time at Spurs in recent weeks, but he did line up for Ireland in their recent Nations League games against Scotland and Armenia. He looked out of sorts, particularly in Glasgow, perhaps as a result of rustiness after a lengthy injury layoff and lack of game time this season.

Matt Doherty will hope to get his chance in the Spurs team with the suspension for Emerson Royal - but it seems as though he will have to win Antonio Conte over for a second time.

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