Gaffer hails in-form defender after last gasp win
Kenny Jackett has challenged Matt Doherty to come through to be one of Wolves’ leaders after the in-form defender’s vital contribution against Bristol City on Tuesday night.
There may have been two-and-a-half years between them, but Doherty once again popped up against the Robins with a late goal to seal a 2-1 victory.
Doherty had also set up Nathan Byrne’s scrambled opener before Aden Flint equalised, the defender heading home late on to secure a second successive home win for Wolves.
“It was a good quality ball from Helan and great header from Doherty to get the win,” said Jackett.
“Matt has made one and scored one tonight and come up with the key goal at the end.
“He has worked out a way to attack from left back – we have been working on his left foot with his delivery but he has the ability go both ways and is an asset for us because he has been strong defensively.
“Now the most important thing for Matt is that he is 24 and this has to be his time.
“He has had spells in the team before but I want him to come through and be a leader for us.
“There are not many experienced players at the club and he is one of the older players out there in the second half.
“He has to step up now and build on the good work that he has done and be one of the players that leads the team.
“Matt has a good character and that is his test now.
“We need a new team to come through and we are building a new side which is evident for everybody.
“In that side we want to see ability but character, determination and leadership as well.”
It was a fairly subdued first half devoid of many chances before the game livened up considerably after the interval, Jackett making a tactical change to replace midfielder Kevin McDonald with forward Michal Zyro, making his comeback from a lengthy spell out with injury.
“It was a change I made,” added the Head Coach.
“I felt we needed an extra forward in that phase of the game.
“And we had a good start to the second half.
“Zyro made a difference with some good touches and got down the side of the defence.
“We were pleased to get our noses in front.
“I thought we should have got a clean sheet out of the game and was disappointed with the goal.
“A crossfield ball has come a long way and we should have dealt with it better and been first to the ball on the far post.
“Going in at 1-1 we found the key moment in injury time with a good quality ball in to tempt the goalkeeper off his line and Doherty in the right place with an excellently timed header which proved to be decisive.”
Jackett continued: “We have to be careful with Michal Zyro because we haven’t got too many options on our front line.
“I want to make sure that when he comes back he stays back because he can be a big player for us.
“I was also very keen to get him in physically around some strong centre halves.
“We also got two young players on the pitch in Connor and Bright towards the end as well.
“Because of our injury list there has been an opportunity there for Connor in the last few weeks and he had a good run when he came on.
“That is why we have these young players and an Academy.”
Jackett confirmed that Bjorn Sigurdarson missed the match with a slight knee injury and Adam Le Fondre as his wife was giving birth.
On the pitch the Head Coach was pleased to see the second successive home win, as Wolves now head into Sunday’s big derby with promotion-chasing Birmingham City.
“We have had two good home wins against Derby and Bristol City,” he added.
“We are 12th in the league – halfway – and want to finish the season and these last ten games very strongly.
“There were some good performances tonight and if we can continue to get some key players back and our younger players keep developing there are positive signs which we have to build on.
“We have to work hard to try and establish and develop a new team coming through.
“It is good for the supporters that we can win these home games and hopefully we can start to bounce off each other and build up a really good atmosphere against Birmingham on Sunday.
“If we can put on a good performance hopefully the crowd will follow.”
*Wolves sponsors and local firm Techworx are offering one lucky supporter the opportunity to WIN a signed shirt or ball and to meet two members of the first team squad on the afternoon of Tuesday 15th March 2016.
To enter simply look out for Techworx's new video on the Club's official Facebook and Twitter pages and share or retweet with your followers: