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Football | Matt Doherty may welcome distraction of Spurs adventure

Irish defender looks to prove his worth following summer move.

Following the disappointment of the Republic of Ireland's defeat to Finland on Sunday, Matt Doherty was able to put the Nations League defeat behind him this week when he began training with his new club, Tottenham Hotspur.

While the debate over who is the best man to fill the right-back berth for their country, tumbles on between Doherty or Seamus Coleman, the argument swayed somewhat in favour of the Irish captain as Doherty failed to overly impress in Stephen Kenny's second game in charge.

If Kenny has not had the sudden jolt expected in impacting the Irish teams performance, like his international manager, the jury in some sectors remains somewhat in doubt on the Irishman. Doherty, a player who can quickly move up through the gears, appeared somewhat stuck in neutral in a near empty Aviva stadium at the weekend.

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With Tuesday, came a welcome change in environment, as the former Bohemians player lined out with his new colleagues for the first time since his move from Wolves.

While the argument can be made that Spurs are no more likely to finish above Wolves this season, having narrowly pipped them for 6th place and a Europa League qualifier, on goal difference; the move is still seen as a step up for the 28-year-old Dubliner.

Spurs face Everton in the opening weekend of the season, followed by a trip to Southampton a week later. In between will be a meeting with Lokomotiv Plovdiv in the second qualifying round of the Europa league.

Opportunity to start permitted, Doherty will be afforded the opportunity to illustrate just why José Mourinho was convinced to swoop for a player with the physicality and footballing intelligence to make an impact at the highest level.

Somewhat perversely, Irish performances have not reflected what it is that the defender can bring to the table.

In the coming weeks, he may well have the chance to prove that he is rightly lauded for what it is he brings down the right flank.

Huge Irish interest will lie in how Doherty fares at Spurs and the coming weeks could well be telling.


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