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Matt Doherty Reveals Antonio Conte Had A Message For Him Ahead Of Ireland Duties

Matt Doherty Reveals Antonio Conte Had A Message For Him Ahead Of Ireland Duties
By Gary Connaughton Updated

While Spurs have enjoyed a good start to the Premier League campaign, there is no doubting that the last few weeks would have been frustrating for Matt Doherty.

His club may have been picking up points every weekend, but he has been watching most of the action from the sidelines. The Dubliner has played a grand total of four minutes in the division across their seven fixtures.

Antonio Conte has favoured Emerson Royal at right wingback, while summer signing Ivan Perisic has also appeared there on occasion. As it turns out, the Irishman's fitness has played a large part in his lack of game time.

Antonio Conte had message for Matt Doherty ahead of Ireland duty

Matt Doherty has been available for selection all campaign, although he has not been fully fit after suffering an injury in pre-season. That no doubt played a part in Conte's decision to not select him, with the Italian demanding that his players be in peak physical condition in order to get into his team.

The international break should provide a good opportunity for the defender to get some playing time under his belt, with the 30-year old likely to play a key role in Ireland's games against Scotland and Armenia.

Speaking to the media ahead of the Scotland match, Doherty revealed that Conte told him that he wants to see him impress for Ireland in over the next ten days in order to attempt to force his way back into the side at Spurs.

I feel ready to start. We train really hard at club level and if you’re not starting games, you’re ready to start, even if you’re not coming off the bench...

That's exactly what he said (to get some minutes with Ireland).

He wants me to come away and try and get two games in, he kind of said in his press conference that I would be available after the international break fully for selection. That's kind of the plan, if Stephen obeys him!..

I feel pretty fit now. It probably took a little bit longer than expected. I was pretty much available all of pre-season but wasn't moving that well.

I understand where the manager is coming from, where he thought my fitness was and he was right at the end of the day.

I know that he trusts me, I know that once I’m back again, he knows what I can do for him and once he thinks I’m available, I’m sure he’ll give me more time.

Like I said, the last three or four weeks, I’ve started to feel really good again. Just kind of doing things more off the cuff and not having to think about them, find my confidence in training.

I’m kind of champing at the bit. We train really hard at club level, so I think fitness won’t be an issue going into the two games for me.

Doherty is all but certain to start the two games for Ireland if fully fit, with the wingback perhaps the key attacking outlet in the side under Stephen Kenny.

Scotland's win over Ukraine last night made the prospect of topping the group a difficult one, although Ireland will be hoping to pick up a couple of wins in order to improve their chances of getting into pot two for the Euro 2024 qualifiers.

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SEE ALSO: Here's The Very Exciting Ireland Team We Want To See Against Scotland


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