Matt Doherty was pleased to get off the mark for Wolves on Saturday after “one of our toughest games of the season” against Reading at the Madejski Stadium.
One-nil to the good thanks to Ivan Cavaleiro’s first half shimmy, Wolves had to withstand some strong Royals pressure in the second half, before Doherty broke to get on the end of Helder Costa’s pass to emphatically finish past Vito Mannone.
It was his first goal of the season and, in his view, a long time coming!
“Costa did unbelievably well to get us up the pitch,” says the Irishman.
“The way we play, I am not going to just sit at the back even if it is the last minute of the game.
“We keep playing to the end, and I was able to get in and put it away.
“I have missed some good chances this season so it was nice to finally get a goal.
“I wouldn’t say it had been playing on my mind – but I like to score goals or create goals.
“I have not as many assists as I have the last few seasons and it is always nice to contribute in that way.
“I managed to get my head down and swing through it – I felt as sharp as Costa at that moment!”
Doherty acknowledged it was a hard-fought afternoon’s work against a Reading side buoyed by two impressive victories going into the international break.
He added: “We had seen Sheffield United go top on the Friday night so we wanted to get a result to take us back there if we could.
“There was a little bit of pressure on us going into the game.
“They started really well and we withstood a lot of pressure.
“They missed some good chances but we were more clinical in front of goal.
“We had to maintain a solid shape in that second half, believed in ourselves and stayed disciplined, and then managed to get the second goal.
“That was one of the hardest games we have had this season.
“Even in the first 20 minutes we could tell the Reading boys were really on it.
“I know results haven’t been going their way this season but they are a good team with good players and that was one of the toughest games we have had for sure.
“We rode our luck a little bit and John made a couple of fantastic saves and Willy (Boly) clearing one off the line.
“But that is what happens when you are throwing your body in the way and it is going our way at the moment.”
Next up are two different challenges with home games against Leeds United on Wednesday (7.45pm) and Bolton Wanderers on Saturday (3pm).
“Confidence is high at the moment and we can’t wait to play every game,” said Doherty.
“We are looking forward to another tough game against Leeds and trying to keep it all going.”